Faster than the speed of light

30 Oct

An article in the Guardian online alerts me to the fact that I am quite out of touch with things on a quantum level. It would seem that some wild Neutrinos have been identified speeding down the runway at Cern at sixty billionths of a second faster than the speed of light. Ah, the wee tearaways.

I can remember speeding down the road on holiday with my dad when I was about five with the window open and seeing the speedometer nudge sixty miles an hour and thinking that was fast.

But those Neutrinos would have left my dad’s old Zephyr standing. No, sorry, they would have arrived at the beach and come back to read me a story before I went to bed the night before.

The discovery, if validated, could turn Einsteinian physics on its head. I mean, the whole caboodle of special relativity will be up for grabs.

Which demands a replay of the Neutrino joke I saw on facebook the other night. “We don’t allow faster-than-light neutrino’s in here!” said the barman. A Neutrino walks into a bar.

That’s it. Terrible, I know.

So as not to get too left behind (geddit?) I have started following Matt Strassler’s blog, which contains a sort of ‘particle physics for idiots’ link, so I can pick up a few key phrases to bandy about next time I go down the local. A Neutrino walks into a bar. So they build this bar… Et cetera, ad infinitum.

 

 

 

5 Responses to “Faster than the speed of light”

  1. Jorge Fondebrider October 30, 2011 at 18:12 #

    Does it affect the euro or the dollar?

    • richardgwyn October 30, 2011 at 18:23 #

      Hell, Jorge, that was quick. Glad you’ve got your priorities in order!

  2. Panfilo Castaldi November 1, 2011 at 23:04 #

    I looked up Neutrino and Neutrino Detection on Wikipedia the other day – you know you’re in trouble when every second word is a complete mystery to you.

    • richardgwyn November 1, 2011 at 23:27 #

      Hmmm. I keep trying to read things like ‘The book of universes’ by John Barrow, in the hope that something will filter through into understanding, but you are right; it is a question of having to learn a new language.

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