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September 24, 2011

by Hosting_Guru

SixDay Science

The big news coming out of CERN is that scientists there have apparently exceeded the speed of light. The experiment, carried out repeatedly over a period of three years, involved the acceleration of neutrinos — tiny, neutrally-charged particles — over a distance of nearly 500 miles and timing their travel. Surprisingly, the neutrinos arrived 60 billionths of a second faster than light would have. It may sound like a miniscule difference, but considering that light travels over 186,000 miles per second, it’s actually quite significant.

If confirmed, the discovery would undermine Albert Einstein’s 1905 theory of special relativity, which says that the speed of light is a “cosmic constant” and that nothing in the universe can travel faster.

To be specific, Einstein’s theory says that particles with mass can be accelerated to speeds arbitrarily close to the speed of light in a vacuum — say, 99.9999999999% of the speed…

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