Einstein’s theory challenged!

Hi there :)

No uploads last week…alas! I want to come up with all the lame excuses here. I was out of country, I was super occupied, I didn’t have an internet connection etc etc…But frankly I could have done one upload…I didn’t because I was too lazy.

So ya, the news maker this week is the grand old daddy of science, of brains, of rebellion is Albert Einstein…

Scientists delving into the mysteries of the universe at CERN, the European particle physics laboratory near Geneva, appear to have disproved one of the concepts underpinning our basic understanding of how time itself works.

Albert Einstein’s theory of special relativity holds that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light. The law was first proposed by Einstein in 1905, and its consequences are far-reaching – the c in the famous equation E=mc2 is the speed of light in a vacuum, for example.

But the physicists at CERN presented the findings of experiments which threaten to shatter this theory – and revoke one of the cornerstones of their scientific field which has held true for more than 100 years.

Scientists working on the OPERA (Oscillation Project with Emulsion tRacking Apparatus) experiment were sending subatomic particles called neutrinos through the earth to the Gran Sasso laboratory, 730km away underneath a mountain in Italy.

Had the neutrinos observed Einstein’s law, the subterranean journey could not have taken longer than the 2.4milliseconds that a beam of light would complete it in. However the neutrinos instead arrived at Gran Sasso 60 nanoseconds – 60 billionths of a second – earlier than light would have.

The neutrinos had travelled 6km a second faster than the speed of light. ‘It is a tiny difference but conceptually it is incredibly important,’ said Professor Antonio Ereditato, an OPERA spokesman.

Subir Sarkar, head of particle theory at Oxford University, explained eloquently to the Guardian the significance of OPERA’s research. “If this is proved to be true it would be a massive, massive event. It is something nobody was expecting.

“The constancy of the speed of light… underpins causality, which is the fact that cause comes before effect. Cause cannot come after effect and that is absolutely fundamental to our construction of the physical universe. If we do not have causality, we are buggered.”

The cause and effect conundrum is truly incredible….I am sure Einstein would have been more than happy to see his theory disproved :)

Thanks and see you soon!

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