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Ear to the Ground

Speed of Light Upset May Be Result of Loose Wire

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Posted on Feb 22, 2012
WilliamMarlow (CC-BY)

Remember the announcement that shocked the physics world last September? Scientists claimed to have measured a neutrino traveling faster than the speed of light—a feat that would have undone Einstein, if, that is, the measurement proves not to have been the result of a bad connection between a GPS unit and a computer, as researchers now suspect. —ARK

Science Insider at Science:

According to sources familiar with the experiment, the 60 nanoseconds discrepancy appears to come from a bad connection between a fiber optic cable that connects to the GPS receiver used to correct the timing of the neutrinos’ flight and an electronic card in a computer. After tightening the connection and then measuring the time it takes data to travel the length of the fiber, researchers found that the data arrive 60 nanoseconds earlier than assumed. Since this time is subtracted from the overall time of flight, it appears to explain the early arrival of the neutrinos. New data, however, will be needed to confirm this hypothesis.

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Ecommerce Web Design's avatar

By Ecommerce Web Design, February 28, 2012 at 9:31 pm Link to this comment

Hmmm, I remember when they first discovered this 60 nanoseconds discrepancy
every news site on the web was jumping up and down to exclaim “Einstein was
wrong!” However I’ve only read about this ‘oops, we forgot to plug it in’
explanation in one place, here.

Poor Albert, smartest man in a dozen generations and still can’t get no respect.

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OzarkMichael's avatar

By OzarkMichael, February 24, 2012 at 11:23 am Link to this comment

Its like my mom used to say to me, “Didnt I just give you that neutrino 60 nanoseconds ago?”

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By darkcycle, February 23, 2012 at 8:49 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

*derisive snort* Yeah, look. You do not just get up one morning and say to
yourself “hmmmm…today I think I’ll go prove Einstien wrong.”

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Blueokie's avatar

By Blueokie, February 22, 2012 at 10:43 pm Link to this comment

DOH!

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By gerard, February 22, 2012 at 8:45 pm Link to this comment

I have never lost any sleep over the discrepancy.  Ignorance is bliss!

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