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Saturday, November 19, 2011

The Neutrino's Saga - Part 6


In opposition of what many people thought, the saga of the neutrinos is not over yet. 
I had already mentioned that these particles conducted between CERN and OPERA, reach the detector sooner than expected. And late last month, I wrote about the experience from ICARUS, whose results contradict those of the OPERA experiment. What is certain is that the team of OPERA has published the second version of this article on arXiv pre-print and the result is: it's the same. Well, almost the same! 

The experiment was repeated with a lower energy, resulting a time difference of 57.8 ns (1 ns = 10-9 s) against the 61.1 ns obtained previously (that's a difference of 3.3 ns). In addition, concerns about the use in the experiment of the Global Positioning System (GPS) to synchronize the clocks at each start and end of the neutrino beam, are unlikely to be so easily dispelled. The GPS, which was used in both experiments, is  inexperienced in the field of high energy physics and particles.  There are scientists who would like to see the measurement of time checked using another part of the OPERA detector.  This measurement requires a very precise analysis of the time and probably with another type of configuration, to be performed by other entities in future experience (including the MINUS experiment at Fermilab, which was mentioned in a previous post, and is preparing to conduct tests early next year). Still, CERN and Opera will also continue to conduct more experiments to see if there are faults in their calculus or equipment. 

So if you think you can throw the books in physics for the trash, think again. We'll have to wait  to see how this saga will end. 
Other publications: BBCScience MagWashington PostNatureUniverse Today
To learn more about particles can go to the website particleadventure
See how scientists caught subatomic particles traveling faster than light in this infographic.

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