Windows into the Imagination

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Bell Tolls Relatively?

I've been reading about the neutrino experiments and the controversy surrounding it. A couple of months ago, physicists at CERN, Switzerland, claimed they found a fatal flaw in Einstein's Theory of Relativity.

Over a three year period, 15,000 neutrinos were shot from an accelerator in Switzerland to a detector in Italy, about 500 miles away and the neutrinos arrived 60 nanoseconds faster than the beam of light.

Yes, that means the neutrinos were travelling faster than the speed of light. At least, according to their experiments.

Of course, you can imagine that caused a great big splash in the science commuity. More like a lava bomb of reaction. Everything about the experiment was questioned, which is understandable when one of the sacred cows upon which a lot of our understanding of the universe is challenged. When we're calculating in parts per million, any tiny flaw can make a big difference.

The experiment was repeated with the same results, but still until it is duplicated by many more people other than those in CERN, our sacred cow is still safely grazing away in the hearts of those who are sentimentally attached to the past.

 The laws of physics are only as good as the last verifiable experiment, or our imaginations to think up experiments to test things we don't really know. Who are we to declare that something is law?

I can imagine that in a thousand years from now, if we haven't blown ourselves up or poisoned our planet past the point of no return, we will look back and realize how little we truly understood of the universe. But, of course, I'm a science fiction writer.

The Noose Around Relativity is Tightening by Michio Kaku

--Elizabeth Lang


  1. One thing everyone familiar with Einstein's Theory of Relativity conveniently forgets is that it is just a 'theory', which means it is not fact. :)