In a major step for truly wireless communications, scientists have figured out how to send a message with neutrinos, transmitting a single word through 780 feet of bedrock and translating it at the other end. It’s just a first step, but the message suggests that someday, submarine crews and maybe average civilians will communicate by sending chargeless, ghostly particles through any obstacle. The message? “Neutrino.”
So it turns out that Einstein may not have been wrong about the universal speed limit. Not only is special relativity safe, it provides an explanation for those faster-than-light neutrinos. They’re not breaking the light-speed barrier; they just appear to be, thanks to the relativistic motion of the clocks checking their speed.
So far, the only thing moving faster than light is speculation. But in the wake of last week’s baffling neutrino news out of CERN, physicists are crunching numbers to test whether these ghostly particles really can move faster than photons. Physicists at Fermilab are re-examining some old data to help answer the question.
Summertime may be the right time for unmasking dark matter. Researchers working on a dark matter experiment buried half a mile underground in a Minnesota mine say they’ve seen seasonally varying blips in electrical pulses that may be the telltale signs of WIMPs, or weakly interacting massive particles.
An international team working below an Italian mountain has detected subatomic particles hanging out beneath the Earth's surface, where they may very well be affecting things like earthquakes and volcanoes.
Submariners should brace for some crazy science to match those Crazy Ivan maneuvers. A physicist says that ghost-like neutrinos that pass easily through just about everything could provide a future method of communication with deep sea submarines.
Neutrinos, the infinitesimally small particles so faint physicists used to call them "the ghost particle," have driven scientists to construct immense underground facilities simply to catch a glimpse of a single one. Now, with even the most massive detectors failing to trap certain high-energy neutrinos, astronomers have turned to a larger filter: the Moon.
Five amazing, clean technologies that will set us free, in this month's energy-focused issue. Also: how to build a better bomb detector, the robotic toys that are raising your children, a human catapult, the world's smallest arcade, and much more.