Last week's bombshell physics news--those superluminal neutrinos that CERN's OPERA experiment clocked moving faster than the speed of light--are already getting the rigorous vetting that OPERA's researchers were hoping for. And some physicists are already rejecting the notion that CERN's neutrinos broke the cosmic speed limit outright.
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.
Don't go throwing out your physics texts just yet, but there's some strange and unprecedented news brewing at CERN today that could potentially undo large parts of the Standard Model, and it has nothing to do with particle collisions at the LHC or elusive god particles. Physicists running routine neutrino experiments between CERN's Geneva HQ and the Gran Sasso laboratory in Italy 455 miles away have found that their neutrinos seem to be traveling faster than the speed of light. That's right: faster than the fastest known speed in the universe. It's certainly not something we could have predicted when putting together our latest FYI, which investigates whether anything can move faster than light.
Japan's "T2K," one of our favorite neutrino experiments (we're keen on several), might have just cracked the mystery of why matter triumphed over antimatter after the Big Bang (they should have canceled each other out).
Friday’s space shuttle launch will be much more than the final hurrah for the shuttle Endeavour. Riding in its cargo bay is a massive and controversial physics experiment that could help answer some of the most confounding mysteries in science. With the delivery of the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer, the space shuttle’s penultimate mission could turn out to be one of its greatest achievements.
After a decade of planning, testing, and boring massive holes in the Antarctic ice with a huge hot water drill, National Science Foundation researchers and their partners completed the IceCube Observatory neutrino detector at the South Pole on Saturday, marking the beginning of a new era in neutrino astrophysics.
A group of former miners' exhaustive knowledge of the Homestake Gold Mine will aid the search for cosmic particles like dark matter and neutrinos.
Homestake, with 370 miles of tunnels that plunge up to 8,000 feet underground, was once the largest and deepest gold mine in the western hemisphere. During its 126-year operation in Lead, South Dakota, a tiny Black Hills mountain town, the mine provided thousands with jobs and produced around $3.5 billion worth of gold. But in the late 1990s, gold prices dropped dramatically, and the mine started losing money -- tens of millions of dollars a year. The mine was closed in 2003, by which time most of its employees had been laid off.
Physicists working with a Fermilab neutrino experiment may have found a new elementary particle whose behavior breaks the known laws of physics. If correct, their results poke holes in the accepted Standard Model of particles and forces, and raise some interesting questions for the Large Hadron Collider and Tevatron experiments. The new particle could even explain the existence of dark matter.
India's Ministry of Environment and Forests just approved the building of the Indian Neutrino Observatory (INO) in the Bodi West Hills, located in Tamil Nadu. The INO is a ridiculously ambitious project that dwarfs CERN, requiring 50,000 tons of magnetized iron to study neutrinos.
On our short list of dreams here at PopSci is to paddle around inside Super-Kamiokande, the giant Japanese subterranean pool that is the world's most sensitive subatomic particle experiment.
We haven't been invited yet, even after featuring the Japanese awesomeness chamber in our neutrino detector gallery -- but meanwhile British artist Nelly Ben Hayoun has thoughtfully built a 72-foot-long replica of Super-Kamiokande out of Mylar balloons, where guests can sail through the expanse of pseudo-photomultipliers by just shelling out 5 pounds and tugging on a Tyvek protective coverall.