Neutrinos Didn’t Break the Speed of Light–Cue Sad Trombone

I’ve written about the possibility of neutrinos moving faster than the speed of light (FTL) here, here, here, and here. But now there is a new press release from CERN.

The story of FTL neutrinos began when CERN reported that experiments measured neutrinos moving 60 nanoseconds quicker than light over a distance of 730 km between Geneva and Gran Sasso, Italy. People wondered if there was some error in the clocks, the GPS, or some calculation error. Although a few people were hoping for FTL neutrinos to be real, many people were simply waiting for an explanation of the error.

Well, it looks like the FTL measurement can be blamed on an “artefact of the measurement,” according to the latest press release from CERN. The ICARUS experiment at the Italian Gran Sasso laboratory re-ran the FTL neutrinos experiment. CERN reports that in this experiment, neutrinos did not travel FTL. Cue the sad trombone.

However, the latest press release from CERN does not explain specifically what kind of measurement error caused the FTL result. I expect more details to come, but for now, we remain under Einstein’s Law of Relativity. FTL starships will have to wait.

OK, that’s enough science. Back to March Madness! Go Hoyas!