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An “impossible” result from physics?

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Here’s the story from Nautilus:

Ereditato is the former leader of the 160 physicists from 13 countries that compose the OPERA collaboration, whose goal is to study neutrino physics. It was first proposed in 2000, and Ereditato led it from 2008 to 2012. Then in late winter of 2011, the impossible seemed to happen. “The guy who is looking at the data calls me,” Ereditato tells me from my computer screen. “He says, ‘I see something strange.’ ” What he saw was evidence that neutrinos traveled through 454 miles of Earth’s crust, from Switzerland to Italy—which they are supposed to do—at such a high speed that they arrived 60.7 nanoseconds faster than light could travel that distance in outer space—which should have been impossible.

Sparing readers the suspense,

With the mistake found and fixed, OPERA’s measurement of the neutrino velocity is now the most accurate in the world. And it is perfectly consistent with Einstein’s special theory of relativity. The faint hope for new physics that wasn’t predicted by the venerable Standard Model was dead. But the performance of the OPERA team in finding a single loose cable among the thousands of electrical channels of experimental equipment was remarkable.

Fascinating read anyway.

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Dr. Sheldon: I like this almost poetic quote from your first article: In The Beginning - 12 May 2015 Excerpt: As I walked out of Steinhardt’s office for the last time, it occurred to me that our cosmos is once again a sphere. Our Earth has been demoted in recent centuries. It no longer enjoys its former status as the still centre of all that is. But it does sit in the middle of our observable cosmos, the sphere of light that we can detect with our telescopes. Gaze into this sphere’s reaches from any point on Earth’s surface, and you can see light coming toward you in layers, from stars and the planets that circle them, from the billions of galaxies beyond, and the final layer of light, the afterglow of the Big Bang. http://aeon.co/magazine/science/has-cosmology-run-into-a-creative-crisis/ bornagain77
Compare John Kovac http://aeon.co/magazine/science/has-cosmology-run-into-a-creative-crisis/ with Antonio Ereditato http://nautil.us/issue/24/error/the-data-that-threatened-to-break-physics Robert Sheldon
Who was Kovacs? Can't find anything about him. MatSpirit
Fascinating! Compare the Nautilus article about Ereditato with the Aeon article on Kovacs. Both made a physics mistake. One lost his job. The other was nominated for a Nobel Prize. Can you spot the difference? Robert Sheldon

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