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Benvenuti in queste pagine dedicate a scienza ed arte. Amelia Carolina Sparavigna

Friday, September 30, 2011

Speed of neutrinos and cosmic consequences

Let me report a part of the discussion on the speed of neutrinos by Wikipedia
"In September 2011 the OPERA collaboration released calculations showing velocities of 17-GeV and 28-GeV neutrinos exceeding the speed of light in their experiments. The authors write, "Despite the large significance of the measurement reported here and the stability of the analysis, the potentially great impact of the result motivates the continuation of our studies in order to investigate possible still unknown systematic effects that could explain the observed anomaly." This result had not been detected by previous experiments, and lies in contrast to several others. For instance, photons and neutrinos from SN 1987A were observed to have an agreement in transit time to about 1 part in 450 million, with even this difference being accounted for by light being impeded by the material of the star early in its journey. The OPERA results, in contrast, suggested that neutrinos were traveling faster than light by a factor of 1 in 40,000, i.e. that neutrino speed is 1.0000248(28)c. Had neutrinos from SN 1987A (a supernova, approximately 168,000 light-years from Earth, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SN_1987A) traveled faster than light by this factor, they would have arrived at Earth several years before the photons; this was not observed to be the case. However, neutrinos from the supernova had orders of magnitude less energy than the neutrinos observed in the OPERA experiment, as the authors point out."