CERN Researchers Recorded Particles Traveling Faster Than the Speed of Light

Posted on September 22, 2011

Scientists at CERN's lab near Geneva claim to have recorded subatomic particles, called neutrinos, traveling faster than the speed of light. The speed of light is approximately 186,282 miles per second. The neutrinos covered a distance of about 500 miles 60 nanoseconds faster than the speed of light, according to the researchers.

The researchers have been carrying out the experiments for over three years. A spokesman for the researchers says they are highly confident in their findings, but they want them to be verified by others.

Antonio Ereditato, spokesman for the researchers, told Reuters, "We have high confidence in our results. We have checked and rechecked for anything that could have distorted our measurements but we found nothing. We now want colleagues to check them independently ."

The BBC reports that the researchers are going to put the data online for scrutiny by other scientists. The BBC quotes Ereditato as saying, "We wanted to find a mistake - trivial mistakes, more complicated mistakes, or nasty effects - and we didn't. When you don't find anything, then you say 'Well, now I'm forced to go out and ask the community to scrutinise this.'"

If the findings are accurate then Einstein's special relativity theory will need some additional explaining. The Wall Street Journal reports that the study has met plenty of skepticism. Drew Baden, chairman of the physics department at the University of Maryland, told the WSJ, "This is ridiculous what they're putting out. Until this is verified by another group, it's flying carpets."