OPERA Confirms: Neutrinos Travel Faster Than Light

by XiXiDu1 min read18th Nov 201163 comments

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New high-precision tests carried out by the OPERA collaboration in Italy broadly confirm its claim, made in September, to have detected neutrinos travelling at faster than the speed of light. The collaboration today submitted its results to a journal, but some members continue to insist that further checks are needed before the result can be considered sound.

Link: nextbigfuture.com/2011/11/faster-than-light-neutrinos-opera.html

The OPERA Collaboration sent to the Cornell Arxiv an updated version of their preprint today, where they summarize the results of their analysis, expanded with additional statistical tests, and including the check performed with 20 additional neutrino interactions they collected in the last few weeks. These few extra timing measurements crucially allow the ruling out of some potential unaccounted sources of systematic uncertainty, notably ones connected to the knowledge of the proton spill time distribution.

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So what does OPERA find ? Their main result, based on the 15,233 neutrino interactions collected in three years of data taking, is unchanged from the September result. The most interesting part of the new publication is instead that the  find that the 20 new neutrino events (where neutrino speeds are individually measured, as opposed to the combined measurement done with the three-year data published in September) confirm the earlier result: the arrival times appear to occur about 60 nanoseconds before they are expected.

Link: science20.com/quantum_diaries_survivor/opera_confirms_neutrinos_travel_faster_light-84763

Paper: kruel.co/paper-neutrino-velocity-JHEP.pdf

Previously on LW: lesswrong.com/lw/7rc/particles_break_lightspeed_limit/