U.S.-based Fermilab to try and break speed of light

By Stephen C. Webster
Monday, September 26, 2011 10:42 EDT
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U.S.-based particle accelerator Fermilab said it would conduct tests that investigate whether neutrino particles can travel faster than the speed of light, a feat the European research center CERN recently claimed to have achieved.

If the findings are upheld, it could fundamentally rewrite humanity’s understanding of physics, proving that Albert Einstein’s theory of special relativity was incorrect to declare that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light.

An earlier experiment at Fermilab had detected neutrino particles traveling faster than the speed of light, but results were dismissed because they fell within the measurements’ margin of error.

The announcement that Fermilab would attempt to replicate CERN’s experiment comes as another part of Fermilab, the Tevatron particle accelerator, prepares to shut down forever due to lack of funding.

The Tevatron accelerator is credited with helping humanity discover the quark, a tiny particle considered to be one of the building blocks of all mater.

(H/T: Talking Points Memo)

Image credit: Flickr user zugaldia.

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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