Scientists at the CERN lab near Geneva, who last year claimed they had recorded neutrinos, a type of tiny particle, travelling faster than the speed of light (186,282 miles / 299,792 km per second), have now admitted it was a faulty reading due to a bad wire.
A source close to the experiment recently told the US journal Science Insider that “a bad connection between a GPS unit and a computer may be to blame”.
Einstein’s proposed in 1905 in his theory of special relativity that nothing in the universe can travel faster than the speed of light in a vacuum. The science world was left in shock when workers at the world’s largest physics lab (the Large Hadron Collider which has a circumference of 17 miles) announced they had recorded subatomic particles travelling faster than the speed of light.
Scientists at CERN claimed that neutrinos arrived 60 nanoseconds earlier that the 2.3 milliseconds taken by light.
The report in Science Insider said the “60 nanoseconds discrepancy appears to come from a bad connection between a fiber optic cable that connects to the GPS receiver used to correct the timing of the neutrinos’ flight and an electronic card in a computer. ”
“After tightening the connection and then measuring the time it takes data to travel the length of the fiber, researchers found that the data arrive 60 nanoseconds earlier than assumed,” it added.
“Since this time is subtracted from the overall time of flight, it appears to explain the early arrival of the neutrinos. New data, however, will be needed to confirm this hypothesis.”