Best of 2011: Faster-than-Light Neutrino Puzzle Claimed Solved by Special Relativity
In October, one physicist suggested that the relativistic motion of clocks on board GPS satellites exactly accounts for the superluminal neutrino effect seen at CERN
January 2, 2012
It’s now been three weeks since the extraordinary news that neutrinos travelling between France and Italy had been clocked moving faster than light. The experiment, known as OPERA, found that the particles produced at CERN near Geneva arrived at the Gran Sasso Laboratory in Italy some 60 nanoseconds earlier than the speed of light allows.
The result has sent a ripple of excitement through the physics community. Since then, more than 80 papers have appeared on the arXiv attempting to debunk or explain the effect. It’s fair to say, however, that the general feeling is that the OPERA team must have overlooked something.
Today, Ronald van Elburg at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands makes a convincing argument that he has found the error.