Changing our world, faster than light
The world as we know it is on the brink of disintegration, on the verge of dissolution. No, I’m not talking about the collapse of the Euro, of international finance, of the Western economies, of the democratic future, of the unipolar moment, of the American dream, of French banks, of Greece as a going concern, of Europe as an idea, of Pax Americana.
I am talking about something far more important. Which is why it made only the back pages of your newspaper, if it made it at all. Scientists at CERN (the European high-energy physics consortium) have announced the discovery of a particle that can travel faster than light.
Neutrinos fired 454 miles from a supercollider outside Geneva to an underground laboratory in Gran Sasso, Italy, took less time (60 nanoseconds less) than light to get there. Or so the physicists think. Or so they measured. Or so they have concluded after repeatedly checking for every possible artifact and experimental error.
The implications of such a discovery are so mind boggling, however, that these same scientists immediately requested that other labs around the world try to replicate the experiment. Something must have been wrong to account for a result that, if we know anything about the universe, is impossible.
And that’s the problem. It has to be impossible because, if not, everything we know about the universe is wrong. (INFN/AFP/Getty Images)