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Faster-than-light neutrinos: They won the race-to-publish, but …


… lost to light.

In “Neutrinos clocked at light-speed in new Icarus test” (BBC News, March 16, 2012), Jason Palmer reports,

… they find that the neutrinos do travel at the same speed as light, within a small error range.

Rumours have circulated since the Opera result was first announced that the team was not unified in its decision to announce their findings so quickly, and Dr Centro suggested that researchers outside the team were also suspicious.

“I didn’t trust the result right from the beginning – the way it was produced, the way it was managed,” he said.

“I think they were a little bit in a hurry to publish something that was astonishing, and at the end of the day it was a wrong measurement.”

Hmm. Friend Rob Sheldon had said something like this here at UD in “Neutrinos faster than light? Or faster than their competitors in the Big Science cash grab?” (February 24, 2012):

The nagging feeling is that they may have already known about this error, but ignored it because of the increase in attention and funding it provided. Then when the funding was secured, the “mistake” was revealed. That is to say, if you know that the Swiss are going to take their accelerator down for a year or two, and you won’t be collecting any more data, the reasonable thing to do is to take the equipment apart and reassemble it for the next experiment. But if you are taking it apart, why would you notice a loose connection that you were removing anyway? Wouldn’t that imply you were assembling it? It seems a tad too coincidental to be finding this problem now, and at this spot?

Okay, neutrinos are not faster than light and everyone can go back to work.

Properly applied, science still works.

.. and the media. Axel
I said as much back in September of last year, right after the news broke out. It was about money all along, not about science. But then again, I'm very cynical when it comes to Big Science. See CERN Shenanigans. Mapou

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