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.