The world stays the same…or does it?

Posted by Katie L. Carroll on February 26, 2012 in Nature, Technology |

After teasing us last September with the news that Einstein might have been wrong, scientists reported on Wednesday the face of physics as we know it is not changing. It appears a faulty cable connection created an erroneous reading of tiny neutrino particles traveling 60 nanoseconds faster than light.

I’m a bit disappointed to learn the way we thought the world worked  isn’t changing (as in E really does equal MC 2 and Einstein had it right all along). Maybe the physicists over at CERN should have done a better job of keeping the lab rats from gnawing on sensitive technical equipment (just kidding)!

Yet just when I thought my imaginings of a new paradigm for the universe was going to be destroyed by such a mundane thing as a bum cable, a report on Friday restored a little of my previous excitement. It seems the faulty wiring could actually have made the original readings wrong in the opposite direction and the particles may have been traveling faster than the faster-than-the-speed-of-light readings.

Say what? So maybe Einstein was wrong and I might still have the pleasure of seeing a major scientific shift in my lifetime. Oh cruel physics…stop toying with my fragile emotions and get some definitive results already!

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  • Mirka Breen says:

    Another nail in the coffin of artificial intelligence matching or surpassing human intuition? Nah. I suspect the devotees of AI will not give up on the notion that we are, ourselves, just a bundle of cables…
    Enjoyed your post^.

  • Anonymous says:

    I trust the testing you cited as much as I do "radio carbon dating," as in: "This rock is between 3- to 4-million-years old," with the variable — one million years — amounting to more than 13,000 of my expected lifetimes. That's not science, it's a cult.

  • Katie L. Carroll (KT) says:

    Thanks, Mirka…you really blew my mind with your thought about humans just being a bundle of cables.

    Don't get your panties all in a bunch, Anonymous! 😉
    (FYI…faulty cables aside, the margin of error is incredibly small for these types of experiments, so small that the original readings were statistically significant.)

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