News Physics

Neutrinos may be faster than light, but published papers on them are not

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In “Faster-than-light neutrino result to get extra checks” (New Scientist, 25 October 2011), Lisa Grossman tells us a few squibs:

Some OPERA team members have reservations too. Fifteen of the 160-strong collaboration did not sign their names to the preprint of the paper because they considered the results too preliminary.

The team is sending tighter bunches of particles from CERN, allowing a more precise measurement of the time it takes neutrinos to get from one lab to the other. The team will take data from 21 October to 6 November, and expect to see between 10 and 15 neutrinos over that time. “If it works, then we will have sufficient accuracy, no problem,” Stanco says.

Dmitri Denisov, a physicist at Fermilab in Batavia, Illinois, says it is standard procedure to wait to publish a paper until everyone in the collaboration has signed on. “We really strive to have full agreement,” he says. “In some cases it takes months, sometimes up to a year, to verify that everyone in the collaboration is happy.”

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