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GAMECHANGER Particles May Have Broken Speed of Light AP Photo

Particles May Have Broken Speed of Light

Albert Einstein was…wrong? Scientists at the world’s largest physics lab said Thursday that particles had traveled faster than the speed of light—something that Einstein said in one of his guiding principles, the special theory of relativity, could never happen. Scientists from the European Organization for Nuclear Research, or CERN, said that measurements shown over three years showed neutrinos pumped from a facility near Geneva to Gran Sasso, Italy, arrived 60 nanoseconds quicker than light would have done. “The feeling that most people have is this can’t be right, this can’t be real,” said James Gilles, a scientist with CERN. An experiment in 2007 by the Chicago-based Fermilab had similar faster-than-light results, but there was such a large margin of error that the results were largely thrown out. U.S. and Japanese competitors of CERN vowed to start research immediately.

September 22, 2011 7:59 PM