Well, this could change things (neutrinos)

For the discussion of the sciences. Physics problems, chemistry equations, biology weirdness, it all goes here.

Moderators: gmalivuk, Moderators General, Prelates

User avatar
OllieGarkey
Posts: 121
Joined: Tue Mar 22, 2011 8:17 pm UTC

Re: Well, this could change things

Postby OllieGarkey » Fri Sep 23, 2011 1:50 pm UTC

cpt wrote:Subtle trolling


No. I'm completely serious.

Unless you're implying that *I* got trolled, in which case, you got me.
Last edited by OllieGarkey on Fri Sep 23, 2011 1:51 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
gmalivuk
GNU Terry Pratchett
Posts: 26529
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 6:02 pm UTC
Location: Here and There
Contact:

Re: What is wrong with you people?

Postby gmalivuk » Fri Sep 23, 2011 1:50 pm UTC

OllieGarkey wrote:Do you guys just love rules and constraints?
It's not that. It's just that we aren't so gullible as to believe 100 years of physics has been broken by one lab.

Are you all so Autistic
Fuck you and your fucking ableism. Who cares if some of us are autistic?

Regarding the rest of your speculation: until there's any evidence that something fantastic actually happened, you can keep your musings in the Fictional Science forum. There are already a couple threads in there about faster-than-light stuff.
---
sourmìlk wrote:I don't think I understood what you were saying then. What, for example, could have happened to the signal? I sent a 2 and received a 1. Assuming things work perfectly, isn't that a contradiction? And if they don't work perfectly, why not?
We don't know. You're asking, "If I break physics, what does physics say will happen?" The answer is, "It doesn't."

At the very least, you have to specify what model of time travel you're using before anyone can answer this question to your liking.

If you want consistent history, then at time = 0 your computer received some signal, call it a, which tells it to send b back in time from time = 1. Then at time = 1 your computer sends b back in time. But you already observed the computer to receive signal a, so obviously something got messed up somewhere along the way.

If you want multiple timelines, then you still observe what I describe above, but there is another universe created (split from yours at time = 0) where the signal received initially was b, and so that computer sends back a at time = 1. Into either yet another universe, or simply back into your own, where you observe receiving signal a at time = 0.

If you want a paradox or "endless loop", then deny both of these things and just cut to the chase, asking, "What happens if we have a physical paradox." To which the answer might be, "Everything."
Unless stated otherwise, I do not care whether a statement, by itself, constitutes a persuasive political argument. I care whether it's true.
---
If this post has math that doesn't work for you, use TeX the World for Firefox or Chrome

(he/him/his)

User avatar
Minerva
Posts: 947
Joined: Sat Nov 11, 2006 2:58 pm UTC
Location: Australia
Contact:

Re: What is wrong with you people?

Postby Minerva » Fri Sep 23, 2011 1:57 pm UTC

OllieGarkey wrote:We have a truly fantastic, truly crazy result from what is the most advanced physics laboratory on earth, and your reaction is the biggest "Meh" I've ever seen.


It's interesting. It needs to be peer-reviewed and repeated at MINOS and T2K and falsified. At the moment it's not peer-reviewed.

That's what everybody in the scientific community is saying. That's what the CNGS/OPERA team that did the research is saying. They're saying that as clearly as everybody else, because that's what good science is.

Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, and extraordinary experimental results require extraordinary statistics, extraordinary repeatability and extraordinary peer-review.

That's the way that the science gets done. That's the way that descent into crackpot nonsense gets avoided.

The usual algorithm followed by science writers or journalists in the mainstream media is to take something from arXiv which looks exciting or unusual, get all excited about it and beat it up whilst ignoring the fact that it does not have any peer-review yet. So far that's what we're seeing.

CNGS/OPERA/CERN folks have a press conference today at 4pm European time... a few hours from now.
...suffer from the computer disease that anybody who works with computers now knows about. It's a very serious disease and it interferes completely with the work. The trouble with computers is you play with them. They are so wonderful. - Richard Feynman

User avatar
Talith
Proved the Goldbach Conjecture
Posts: 848
Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2008 1:28 am UTC
Location: Manchester - UK

Re: What is wrong with you people?

Postby Talith » Fri Sep 23, 2011 1:59 pm UTC

OllieGarkey wrote:But no, you people have no imagination, no joy in the idea that there are mysteries yet to be unlocked by human science, and you take yourselves way too fucking seriously.

Collectively, you're the biggest disappointment since the crucifixion.

Someone's been taking too much LSD. In my experience, people don't take too kindly to causality being violated and I'm sure your grandfather wouldn't either. Calm down and look at this with a rational mind instead of an arrogant, rude, and simple one.

User avatar
Macbi
Posts: 941
Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2007 8:32 am UTC
Location: UKvia

Re: What is wrong with you people?

Postby Macbi » Fri Sep 23, 2011 2:01 pm UTC

OllieGarkey wrote:If they made an error, their careers are probably over. Do you honestly think they wouldn't check and recheck everything, ever equation, every instrument, every line of code to make damned sure there wasn't a career-ending error somewhere before they published their paper?
Question for professional scientists: Science doesn't really work like this does it? Faking results would be a career ender, but merely being mistaken is fine, no?
    Indigo is a lie.
    Which idiot decided that websites can't go within 4cm of the edge of the screen?
    There should be a null word, for the question "Is anybody there?" and to see if microphones are on.

User avatar
sourmìlk
If I can't complain, can I at least express my fear?
Posts: 6393
Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2008 10:53 pm UTC
Location: permanently in the wrong
Contact:

Re: Well, this could change things

Postby sourmìlk » Fri Sep 23, 2011 2:04 pm UTC

Relax. We recognize that there's a lot of potential here, but we're not getting our hopes up just yet. Also, I'm trying to figure out how time paradoxes figure into this.
Terry Pratchett wrote:The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.

User avatar
gmalivuk
GNU Terry Pratchett
Posts: 26529
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 6:02 pm UTC
Location: Here and There
Contact:

Re: What is wrong with you people?

Postby gmalivuk » Fri Sep 23, 2011 2:10 pm UTC

Macbi wrote:
OllieGarkey wrote:If they made an error, their careers are probably over. Do you honestly think they wouldn't check and recheck everything, ever equation, every instrument, every line of code to make damned sure there wasn't a career-ending error somewhere before they published their paper?
Question for professional scientists: Science doesn't really work like this does it? Faking results would be a career ender, but merely being mistaken is fine, no?
Of course it is. If scientists lost their jobs over mistakes, there'd be no scientists.

What might end some careers is going completely off the rails like OllieGarkey just did, building this up into the most fantastically amazing scientific discovery EVAR!!!
Unless stated otherwise, I do not care whether a statement, by itself, constitutes a persuasive political argument. I care whether it's true.
---
If this post has math that doesn't work for you, use TeX the World for Firefox or Chrome

(he/him/his)

curtis95112
Posts: 638
Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2011 5:23 pm UTC

Re: Well, this could change things

Postby curtis95112 » Fri Sep 23, 2011 2:13 pm UTC

@Sourmilk
Novikov is postulating that time paradoxes cannot happen. The mechanism he suggests is a sum-over-paths approach to determine quantum probabilities, except that here you somewhat arbitrarily set the value of paradoxical paths to zero. It's pure speculation, and its merits are that it gives us the result we want while being consistent.

@Ollie
I find the prospect of revolutionizing computation and (perhaps) changing the past to be far more interesting than mere movement. We cant get 0.1c spacecraft any time soon. Why should I be excited about 1.1c travel when I have P=NP to be excited about?
Mighty Jalapeno wrote:
Tyndmyr wrote:
Роберт wrote:Sure, but at least they hit the intended target that time.

Well, if you shoot enough people, you're bound to get the right one eventually.

Thats the best description of the USA ever.

Meem1029
Posts: 379
Joined: Wed Jul 21, 2010 1:11 am UTC

Re: What is wrong with you people?

Postby Meem1029 » Fri Sep 23, 2011 2:14 pm UTC

OllieGarkey wrote:If they made an error, their careers are probably over. Do you honestly think they wouldn't check and recheck everything, ever equation, every instrument, every line of code to make damned sure there wasn't a career-ending error somewhere before they published their paper?

These aren't glory hounds! They're not saying "We broke physics!" They're saying "Holy crap, we didn't expect this. Hey everybody: help!"


You confuse me. There are 2 ways they could have approached these results:
1)W00t! We broke physics!!!!! -If they ended up wrong, they may have ended their careers.
2)Check and double check results. Physics still says the results are wrong. Ask everybody for help figuring out what went wrong.-This is the responsible way of going about things. Notice how they are not saying that they broke the laws of physics. They are saying that they don't think these results can be true and are asking for people to figure out any sources of errors. That is the responsible way to go about new discoveries in science. If someone were to claim they attained cold fusion, they would be laughed at. If someone were to say that their experiment appeared to show the possibility of cold fusion, had double checked it many times and didn't see what was wrong and invited people to find errors in what they did, I'm pretty sure it would be received much better.

Edit: The reason you confuse me is that first you say that they would lose their careers and then you recognize that they are not claiming that they went faster. They are asking for help.
cjmcjmcjmcjm wrote:If it can't be done in an 80x24 terminal, it's not worth doing

makc
Posts: 181
Joined: Mon Nov 02, 2009 12:26 pm UTC

Re: Well, this could change things

Postby makc » Fri Sep 23, 2011 2:24 pm UTC

sourmìlk wrote:Assuming things work perfectly, isn't that a contradiction?
Yes, assuming things work perfectly is (itself) a contradiction of the "cake and no cake" kind, as I said above.

sourmìlk wrote:What, for example, could have happened to the signal? I sent a 2 and received a 1.
As far as your thought experiment does not impose any restrictions on the signal - anything. The "wormhole" or whatever thing that conducts signal from future to past is a black box, and all we know about it is that 2 came in an 1 came out. There could be sneaky aliens messing with you, or there could be plasma that added echo to your signal and caused it to be mis-interpreted as 1.

User avatar
BlackSails
Posts: 5315
Joined: Thu Dec 20, 2007 5:48 am UTC

Re: Well, this could change things

Postby BlackSails » Fri Sep 23, 2011 2:32 pm UTC

Its an interesting result, but atm, not much more than when in my undergrad lab I discovered the charge on the electron to be +2 or something.

User avatar
sourmìlk
If I can't complain, can I at least express my fear?
Posts: 6393
Joined: Mon Dec 22, 2008 10:53 pm UTC
Location: permanently in the wrong
Contact:

Re: Well, this could change things

Postby sourmìlk » Fri Sep 23, 2011 2:34 pm UTC

Why can't I have a sender and receiver that work well? And are you saying that I will always send back the value I received even when I intend to do otherwise?
Terry Pratchett wrote:The trouble with having an open mind, of course, is that people will insist on coming along and trying to put things in it.

User avatar
Minerva
Posts: 947
Joined: Sat Nov 11, 2006 2:58 pm UTC
Location: Australia
Contact:

Re: Well, this could change things

Postby Minerva » Fri Sep 23, 2011 2:36 pm UTC

...suffer from the computer disease that anybody who works with computers now knows about. It's a very serious disease and it interferes completely with the work. The trouble with computers is you play with them. They are so wonderful. - Richard Feynman

User avatar
gmalivuk
GNU Terry Pratchett
Posts: 26529
Joined: Wed Feb 28, 2007 6:02 pm UTC
Location: Here and There
Contact:

Re: Well, this could change things

Postby gmalivuk » Fri Sep 23, 2011 2:46 pm UTC

sourmìlk wrote:Why can't I have a sender and receiver that work well?
You can. That just means you're thinking yourself into a hypothetical universe without the consistent histories principle. Maybe yours has multiple timelines.

Or, if it's what you really really want, it leads to a paradox and then everything happens.
Unless stated otherwise, I do not care whether a statement, by itself, constitutes a persuasive political argument. I care whether it's true.
---
If this post has math that doesn't work for you, use TeX the World for Firefox or Chrome

(he/him/his)

makc
Posts: 181
Joined: Mon Nov 02, 2009 12:26 pm UTC

Re: Well, this could change things

Postby makc » Fri Sep 23, 2011 2:52 pm UTC

sourmìlk wrote:Why can't I have a sender and receiver that work well? And are you saying that I will always send back the value I received even when I intend to do otherwise?
It's not me :D YOU are saying that.
sourmìlk wrote:I sent a 2 and received a 1.
This what you said we know for a fact. You did receive 1. You did send 2. These are two facts that immedialy imply that something happened to your signal on its way - let's call it "CAKE". Now you want the events to happen in a way that signal went unchanged - that is "NO CAKE". You can't have both.

gorcee
Posts: 1501
Joined: Sun Jul 13, 2008 3:14 am UTC

Re: Well, this could change things

Postby gorcee » Fri Sep 23, 2011 2:58 pm UTC

Minerva wrote:http://webcast.web.cern.ch/webcast/

Webcast. Now. Watch.


Sweet, thanks.

EDIT: Can we put the timeloop speculation bullshit in another thread, please?

makc
Posts: 181
Joined: Mon Nov 02, 2009 12:26 pm UTC

Re: Well, this could change things

Postby makc » Fri Sep 23, 2011 3:03 pm UTC

gorcee wrote:Can we put the timeloop speculation bullshit in another thread, please?
Yes, let's keep timeloop speculation bullshit apart from superluminal neutrinos speculation bullshit

gorcee
Posts: 1501
Joined: Sun Jul 13, 2008 3:14 am UTC

Re: Well, this could change things

Postby gorcee » Fri Sep 23, 2011 3:07 pm UTC

Summary of the talk so far:

The OPERA team has gone through extensive calibration of the timing and measurement systems. They have identified multiple sources of systematic error. The total known systematic error ends up being +/- 7.9 ns (or 7.4, forget the exact number, but it's 7.something). The statistical error is on the order of 6.something ns.

So the total discrepancy is 60.7 +/- 6.something (statistical error) +/- 7.something (systematic error) ns.

That still leaves a large discrepancy that would be an order of magnitude larger than either the statistical or systematic errors identified so far.

gorcee
Posts: 1501
Joined: Sun Jul 13, 2008 3:14 am UTC

Re: Well, this could change things

Postby gorcee » Fri Sep 23, 2011 3:07 pm UTC

makc wrote:
gorcee wrote:Can we put the timeloop speculation bullshit in another thread, please?
Yes, let's keep timeloop speculation bullshit apart from superluminal neutrinos speculation bullshit


One is an actual observed event being discussed by world-class physicists. The other is a thought experiment that a teenager might think up.

makc
Posts: 181
Joined: Mon Nov 02, 2009 12:26 pm UTC

Re: Well, this could change things

Postby makc » Fri Sep 23, 2011 3:17 pm UTC

gorcee wrote:One is an actual observed event being discussed by world-class physicists.
In this thread?? Wow.

gorcee
Posts: 1501
Joined: Sun Jul 13, 2008 3:14 am UTC

Re: Well, this could change things

Postby gorcee » Fri Sep 23, 2011 3:25 pm UTC

makc wrote:
gorcee wrote:One is an actual observed event being discussed by world-class physicists.
In this thread?? Wow.


Ok, let me make it simple because either you're trolling or you're stupid.

The announcement is a current event. The purpose of this thread is to discuss the current event, not to speculate on sending computers back in time or some shit. There are plenty of questions that can be asked, and plenty of things that can be learned with regards to the current event.

It's not like I just made a thread saying "HAY GUSY WAT HAPPENS IF NEUTRINOS GO FASTER THAN LIGHT!?!?" This is an actual observation made by actual physicists with currently unknown origins (new physics? error? what factors might cause such an error?)

++$_
Mo' Money
Posts: 2370
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2007 4:06 am UTC

Re: Well, this could change things

Postby ++$_ » Fri Sep 23, 2011 3:45 pm UTC

OK, I read the paper.

I'm not an expert in anything having to do with physics or physics equipment. However, there are an awful lot of things that could go wrong here, because the timing and measurement systems are extremely complex. I understand that they have done a very careful calibration of the timer, but they did not really calibrate it under the same conditions as the experiment. That, of course, is impossible, because there is no tunnel through the crust which we can use to send pulses of light.

As I pointed out earlier, there is existing evidence that neutrinos do not travel 1/40000th faster than light, because the neutrinos from SN1987A did not arrive 4 years before the light. Those neutrinos had much lower energies, and it is possible that there is energy-dependence, but there did not appear to be energy-dependence in this experiment.

User avatar
Minerva
Posts: 947
Joined: Sat Nov 11, 2006 2:58 pm UTC
Location: Australia
Contact:

Re: Well, this could change things

Postby Minerva » Fri Sep 23, 2011 3:47 pm UTC

The physicists at the press conference are presently tearing each other to pieces, politely.

This is beautiful. While the world's media is watching, this is a fantastic illustration of real, good science, how it works, and what separates science from baloney. These skeptical questions, and the analysis method, are a great demonstration of the difference between real science and woo.

This is what Feynman called bending over backwards to show how you're maybe wrong.

When was the last time you saw questions like this at a press conference with homeopaths or anti-nuclearists or creationists?
...suffer from the computer disease that anybody who works with computers now knows about. It's a very serious disease and it interferes completely with the work. The trouble with computers is you play with them. They are so wonderful. - Richard Feynman

GreenTom
Posts: 8
Joined: Wed Aug 03, 2011 12:10 am UTC

Re: Well, this could change things

Postby GreenTom » Fri Sep 23, 2011 3:52 pm UTC

IANAS, but a few things from the paper stood out...

-- a previous poster wondered about cosmic rays. The first paragraph of section 5 mentions this. My reading is that a random cosmic ray would, on average, cause a flight time that's 10us 5us too fast, and that about one in 10^4 events will be a cosmic ray. So, this seems to result in a 1ns 0.5ns average effect, far too small to explain the results.

--is anyone else suspicious of their maximum likelihood procedure? (section 7). I don't fully follow, but it looks like each neutrio detected could have come from any part of a 10.5us proton pulse. To get more accurate times, they record the exact current of the proton pulse, then derrive a probability density function of the neutrino formation, than use that to statiscially get to the actual flight time. I know they've got a lot of samples, but that looks like the weak link to me. (Assuming the time measurement chain is good). Wouldn't even the slightest non-linearity in either the proton current measuring device (the BCT) or in the neutron production function break this?

User avatar
eSOANEM
:D
Posts: 3652
Joined: Sun Apr 12, 2009 9:39 pm UTC
Location: Grantabrycge

Re: Well, this could change things

Postby eSOANEM » Fri Sep 23, 2011 3:57 pm UTC

++$_ wrote:it is possible that there is energy-dependence, but there did not appear to be energy-dependence in this experiment.


I am going solely by wikipedia here (so the usual pinches of salt apply), but there say that the standard-model extension allows neutrinos to break c at high energies. Of course, if no energy-dependence was observed, a systematic error seems more likely than this particular explanation but, if none is found, it's possible that the explanation is along similar lines.
my pronouns are they

Magnanimous wrote:(fuck the macrons)

User avatar
Yubtzock
Posts: 148
Joined: Sat Apr 18, 2009 7:37 pm UTC
Location: Breslau/Wrocław

Re: Well, this could change things

Postby Yubtzock » Fri Sep 23, 2011 4:04 pm UTC

a moment ago people were questioning the fact that the researchers didn't take tidal deformations into account during the time of measurements of exact locations (although the researchers have dropped that as insignificant because (? - I did not really understood that, someone help?) ).

The time part seems to be surprisingly solid (or they are really sure about it somehow, but many questions were asked, although again - all of them answered)

My question would be about the GPS satellite distance (20000km) being insignificant as 730 << 20000km (also: it's location) but that doesn't seem at all insignificant and no corrections on that matter are discussed. Could someone enlighten me on that matter? Do they know the position that well or is it that much unimportant?


Those neutrinos had much lower energies, and it is possible that there is energy-dependence, but there did not appear to be energy-dependence in this experiment.

More precisely - like the speaker put it: Not that there did not appear to be any energy-dependence, but they could not say whether or not there was any basing only on that experiment. (they would need to check it separately probably)
There even was a question about it from a woman asking at the end and she also asked whether they could create another measurement with different energy level. It seems like that's what they want to do right now themselves but they are not saying if they are going to. I bet they (are planning it)/(already did the experiment, but are analysing the data right now).

User avatar
thoughtfully
Posts: 2253
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2007 12:25 am UTC
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Contact:

Re: Well, this could change things

Postby thoughtfully » Fri Sep 23, 2011 4:12 pm UTC

Well, the breaking causality thing would kinda suck. There might be new physics here, but it's not FTL. That would be exciting enough!
Image
Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
-- Antoine de Saint-Exupery

gorcee
Posts: 1501
Joined: Sun Jul 13, 2008 3:14 am UTC

Re: Well, this could change things

Postby gorcee » Fri Sep 23, 2011 4:15 pm UTC

Yubtzock wrote:a moment ago people were questioning the fact that the researchers didn't take tidal deformations into account during the time of measurements of exact locations (although the researchers have dropped that as insignificant because (? - I did not really understood that, someone help?) ).

The time part seems to be surprisingly solid (or they are really sure about it somehow, but many questions were asked, although again - all of them answered)

My question would be about the GPS satellite distance (20000km) being insignificant as 730 << 20000km (also: it's location) but that doesn't seem at all insignificant and no corrections on that matter are discussed. Could someone enlighten me on that matter? Do they know the position that well or is it that much unimportant?


It's pretty much unimportant by itself. The big factor is the geodesy measurements, which they discussed.

In other words, the distance from the satellites is unimportant because you can do other experiments to establish the terrestrial distance error bounds. They accounted for that source of error; or, if GPS accuracy was a sufficient factor, it would also manifest in other areas, which it does not.

The question about tidal deformations was dropped for two reasons. The first, which is not the strongest argument, is that they estimated the GPS accuracy multiple times, and those measurements took over a week to perform. The second is that if tidal fluctuations were a factor, then that discrepancy would have appeared in the data as time dependent fluctuations, and it also would have averaged out over the three years of measurements. They would have also seen that appear in the continuous GPS position updates (ie, the distances were measured a few times, but the position of the baseline stations were estimated far more frequently -- tidal fluctuations, if significant, would have shown up in those measurements).

User avatar
Yubtzock
Posts: 148
Joined: Sat Apr 18, 2009 7:37 pm UTC
Location: Breslau/Wrocław

Re: Well, this could change things

Postby Yubtzock » Fri Sep 23, 2011 4:28 pm UTC

gorcee wrote:The question about tidal deformations was dropped for two reasons. The first, which is not the strongest argument, is that they estimated the GPS accuracy multiple times, and those measurements took over a week to perform. The second is that if tidal fluctuations were a factor, then that discrepancy would have appeared in the data as time dependent fluctuations, and it also would have averaged out over the three years of measurements. They would have also seen that appear in the continuous GPS position updates (ie, the distances were measured a few times, but the position of the baseline stations were estimated far more frequently -- tidal fluctuations, if significant, would have shown up in those measurements).

Thank you for explaining that.

gorcee wrote:In other words, the distance from the satellites is unimportant because you can do other experiments to establish the terrestrial distance error bounds. They accounted for that source of error; or, if GPS accuracy was a sufficient factor, it would also manifest in other areas, which it does not.
I suspected as much on my own, but still it seems handwave-ingly approved as insignificant without any calculations or theories (single ionospheric influence was discussed not the distance/location). I guess I simply wanted to point out that for the level of detail they went with the rest, this aspect seems a bit under-discussed.
But again - like you said - if there was any significant inaccuracy, it would have manifested itself most probably somewhere else and they probably wanted to spare some time as they were constrained to 1-2hours of presentation + questions.

User avatar
LaserGuy
Posts: 4552
Joined: Thu Jan 15, 2009 5:33 pm UTC

Re: Well, this could change things

Postby LaserGuy » Fri Sep 23, 2011 6:20 pm UTC

sourmìlk wrote:So if we can send messages back in time. What happens if I tell a computer to send a boolean value to itself three minutes ago, at which point the computer saves the value and sends the opposite one back three minutes later?


I believe that you get a message saying "Do not mess with time".

I can provide citation for that, if you need it.

ST47
Posts: 125
Joined: Tue Oct 16, 2007 6:42 pm UTC

Re: Well, this could change things

Postby ST47 » Fri Sep 23, 2011 6:22 pm UTC

++$_ wrote:They KNOW they haven't disproved physics.

In SN1987A, a pulse of neutrinos arrived several hours before the light was detected. SN1987A is located 168,000 light years from Earth. If neutrinos travel at 40,001c/40,000, then the neutrinos from SN1987A should have arrived 4 years before they did.

Your point? We expected that, neutrinos are emitted before visible light in that sort of phenomenon. But the fact that those neutrinos clearly traveled about the speed of light, and the possibility that neutrinos excited or accelerated in this experiment traveled faster, are not irreconcilable.

User avatar
idobox
Posts: 1591
Joined: Wed Apr 02, 2008 8:54 pm UTC
Location: Marseille, France

Re: Well, this could change things

Postby idobox » Fri Sep 23, 2011 10:13 pm UTC

ST47 wrote:Your point? We expected that, neutrinos are emitted before visible light in that sort of phenomenon. But the fact that those neutrinos clearly traveled about the speed of light, and the possibility that neutrinos excited or accelerated in this experiment traveled faster, are not irreconcilable.

On one side, you have an extremely strong theory, never proved wrong in decades of extensive research, and built on common sense (causality).
And an observation that tells you neutrinos travel very close to the speed of light

On the other side, you have one experiment that gives results irreconcilable with your theory.

Occam's razor suggests an experimental error is much more likely. If many different experiments gave similar results, it would be different, but now, we just have an anomaly.
If there is no answer, there is no question. If there is no solution, there is no problem.

Waffles to space = 100% pure WIN.

User avatar
Macbi
Posts: 941
Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2007 8:32 am UTC
Location: UKvia

Re: Well, this could change things

Postby Macbi » Fri Sep 23, 2011 10:30 pm UTC

I'm now wavering slightly. I was pointed to this paper: "Neutrinos Must Be Tachyons" (1997)

Abstract:
The negative mass squared problem of the recent neutrino experiments[1-6]
prompts us to speculate that, after all, neutrinos may be tachyons. There are
number of reasons to believe that this could be the case. Stationary neutrinos
have not been detected. There is no evidence of right handed neutrinos which
are most likely to be observed if neutrinos can be stationary. They have the
unusual property of the mass oscillation between flavors which has not been
observed in the electron families. While Standard Model predicts the mass of
neutrinos to be zero, the observed spectrum of T2 decay experiments hasn’t
conclusively proved that the mass of neutrino is exactly zero. Based upon these
observations and other related phenomena, we wish to argue that there are too
many inconsistencies to fit neutrinos into the category of the ordinary inside
light cone particles and that the simplest possible way to resolve the mystery
of the neutrino is to change our point of view and determine that neutrinos are
actually tachyons.


The thing I hadn't realised is that neutrinos have never been observed going slower than light. If they had been observed going slower than light, then finding them also going faster would be absurd, since it would require infinite energy. But if they are always tachyons then them travelling faster than c is much less problematic.
    Indigo is a lie.
    Which idiot decided that websites can't go within 4cm of the edge of the screen?
    There should be a null word, for the question "Is anybody there?" and to see if microphones are on.

userxp
Posts: 436
Joined: Thu Jul 09, 2009 12:40 pm UTC

Re: Well, this could change things

Postby userxp » Fri Sep 23, 2011 10:38 pm UTC

But tachyons get closer to the speed of light (i.e. go slower) the more energy they have right? Then these neutrinos must've had a tremendous amount of energy to travel only slightly faster than c.

Unrelated: since neutrinos can go right through the Earth, if we found simple ways to emit them and detect them, we could use them to communicate from one continent to another without needing satellites and with the lowest possible lag (even if they don't go FTL).

User avatar
Macbi
Posts: 941
Joined: Mon Apr 09, 2007 8:32 am UTC
Location: UKvia

Re: Well, this could change things

Postby Macbi » Fri Sep 23, 2011 10:41 pm UTC

userxp wrote:But tachyons get closer to the speed of light (i.e. go slower) the more energy they have right? Then these neutrinos must've had a tremendous amount of energy to travel only slightly faster than c.
Also, the neutrinos from the supernova had less energy, and the delay on them was less (compared to the respective travel times). If they had negative mass-squared the supernova electrons should have been faster.
    Indigo is a lie.
    Which idiot decided that websites can't go within 4cm of the edge of the screen?
    There should be a null word, for the question "Is anybody there?" and to see if microphones are on.

User avatar
ian
Posts: 706
Joined: Fri Mar 07, 2008 3:55 pm UTC
Location: Sealand

Re: Well, this could change things

Postby ian » Fri Sep 23, 2011 11:04 pm UTC

idobox wrote:
ST47 wrote:Your point? We expected that, neutrinos are emitted before visible light in that sort of phenomenon. But the fact that those neutrinos clearly traveled about the speed of light, and the possibility that neutrinos excited or accelerated in this experiment traveled faster, are not irreconcilable.

On one side, you have an extremely strong theory, never proved wrong in decades of extensive research, and built on common sense (causality).
And an observation that tells you neutrinos travel very close to the speed of light

On the other side, you have one experiment that gives results irreconcilable with your theory.

Occam's razor suggests an experimental error is much more likely. If many different experiments gave similar results, it would be different, but now, we just have an anomaly.


Yes, but saying that "they KNOW" =! 'much more likely'.

they believe they have an error, yes that is the most likely situation, that is not equivalent to knowing, and it's certainly not equivalent to patronising 'KNOW'ing. dismissing a possibility because it doesn't fit with the current scientific consensus, is not science.

++$_
Mo' Money
Posts: 2370
Joined: Thu Nov 01, 2007 4:06 am UTC

Re: Well, this could change things

Postby ++$_ » Sat Sep 24, 2011 1:24 am UTC

In this case we have a result that contradicts not only a very well-tested theory, but also the SN1987A "experiment," which despite being completely unplanned, actually has a much more convincing methodology.

User avatar
ArgonV
Posts: 1792
Joined: Mon Mar 02, 2009 8:08 pm UTC
Location: The Netherlands

Re: What is wrong with you people?

Postby ArgonV » Sat Sep 24, 2011 2:15 am UTC

OllieGarkey wrote:Are you all stodgy old men in ivory towers puffing on pipes?!

We have a truly fantastic, truly crazy result from what is the most advanced physics laboratory on earth, and your reaction is the biggest "Meh" I've ever seen.

No one's even remotely excited about the possibility of faster than light interstellar travel? Not even remotely?

Do you guys just love rules and constraints?

I know jumping to conclusions is idiotic, but can't you people just consider how cool this is and what it might mean rather than getting upset that your rules might be broken?

Are you all so Autistic that you hate changes that might mean something incredible for the human species?

Because if we can send mass PAST the speed of light, FTL travel becomes a question of Engineering.

Is it that you don't want to share your little corner of the universe with engineers?

Why would it be so bad if we had to re-write physics again? I thought scientists loved challenges like this, but you whinging sadsacks are so sure that this result is some kind of lab error.

Think about it:

If they made an error, their careers are probably over. Do you honestly think they wouldn't check and recheck everything, ever equation, every instrument, every line of code to make damned sure there wasn't a career-ending error somewhere before they published their paper?

These aren't glory hounds! They're not saying "We broke physics!" They're saying "Holy crap, we didn't expect this. Hey everybody: help!"

And you're all standing around talking about how wrong their result was rather than thinking about what might be the case, and what the new model might be?

An inconstant speed of light, for example.

But no, you people have no imagination, no joy in the idea that there are mysteries yet to be unlocked by human science, and you take yourselves way too fucking seriously.

Collectively, you're the biggest disappointment since the crucifixion.


How is this trolling? The guy/girl has a point. Everything we assumed up till now might be (partially) wrong. Every true blooded scientist should be excited by that. 'Everything you know is/might be wrong' should be incredibly exciting!

User avatar
Diadem
Posts: 5654
Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2008 11:03 am UTC
Location: The Netherlands

Re: Well, this could change things

Postby Diadem » Sat Sep 24, 2011 2:30 am UTC

Everybody seems to think that "An error" and "Neutrionos go FTL!" are the only two possibilities. That's not the case. Neutrinos are both produced and measured in an indirect way. They accounted for that in their experiment of course. But how well they can account for that depends on our understanding of the particular physics of the experiment. And perhaps our theories there are wrong. Some nonlinear effect in proton decay for example, causing more neutrinos to be produced early in the beam, making it seem as if they arrive early.

My point is, there is plenty of room for exiting new results even if it doesn't turn out to be FTL. There's other new physics that could appear. And even if the results are due to a systematic error, that's still interesting, because an unexpected systematic error still means there is some physics going on that we hadn't seen comming. Which may still lead to new discoveries, or at least better future experiments.
It's one of those irregular verbs, isn't it? I have an independent mind, you are an eccentric, he is round the twist
- Bernard Woolley in Yes, Prime Minister

User avatar
Diadem
Posts: 5654
Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2008 11:03 am UTC
Location: The Netherlands

Re: What is wrong with you people?

Postby Diadem » Sat Sep 24, 2011 2:36 am UTC

ArgonV wrote:
OllieGarkey wrote:(..)

How is this trolling? The guy/girl has a point. Everything we assumed up till now might be (partially) wrong. Every true blooded scientist should be excited by that. 'Everything you know is/might be wrong' should be incredibly exciting!

What on earth makes you think that physicists aren't exited about this? It's the talk of the day, there was a live press conference, what more do you want? Drunk experimentalists walking the streets late and night shouting about the end of the world? Theorists jumping off tall buildings leaving behind notes reading "Tell my wife I love her. At least I think I do, I'm not sure, nothing makes sense anymore!".

Or do you want everyone to accept this result at face value and not question it for fear of being labeled unimaginative? Because I hate to disappoint you, but that is not how science works.
It's one of those irregular verbs, isn't it? I have an independent mind, you are an eccentric, he is round the twist
- Bernard Woolley in Yes, Prime Minister


Return to “Science”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 7 guests