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  • Writer's pictureNick Cook

Can Anything Travel Faster Than Light?

(Article Originally Published 16/11/2011)

“There are two kinds of light - the glow that illumines, and the glare that obscures.”

– James Thurber

A neutrino walks into a bar and sees himself already sipping a beer at a table – huh?

Well if the results from a recent experiment at the Cern labs are correct, that’s what could happen sometimes. The door to time travel being possible has just been opened a crack wider, all because some neutrinos fired from the particle accelerator in Geneva, Switzerland, arrived over the border in Gran Sasso, Italy, 0.00000006 seconds faster than they should have.

Now I know that doesn’t sound very significant, but if not the result of some experimental error, then these particles may have just punched through the speed of light barrier. This should be impossible and Einstein may be well getting ready to spin in his grave!

This is big news, very big because if true not only does he undermine Einstein’s long-standing theory of relativity, a cornerstone of all modern physics, but it also means that time travel might actually be possible after all.

Theories are beginning to circulate and one that seems to be gaining the most attention is that these mischievous particles took a shortcut through another dimension. The parallel reality theorists are rubbing their hands with glee at the prospect – this could be their smoking gun helping to prove their ideas.

Now the waiting game begins as the experts pour over the data. I mean it has to be an error surely? But if it isn’t we could well be on the brink of a whole new chapter in our understanding of physics, even if it means we’re going to have to throw away all these texts book we’ve been studying. Only time will tell!

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