Saturday, September 24, 2011

Neutrinos not likely faster than light.

It is recently very widely reported in popular media that scientists in Italy, (the OPERA experiment under Gran Sasso mountain), have detected neutrinos traveling slightly faster than the speed of light.

Reportedly, GPS — with much adjusting for various effects and uncertainties — was used to determine the distance from source to detector. I am wondering how they allowed for differences in elevation. What does GPS say about elevation? Any measure of elevation ought not be relative to nominal “sea level”, as that varies by latitude, but relative to the center of the earth, basically defining a precise triangle from center of earth, source and detector. Besides just the geometry, there is a small time dilation effect associated with differing depth within the earth’s gravity well.

I wish I had the time and expertise to plow through the details myself but, as a dilettante, all I can manage is to put on record my guess where the error might be — along with my very firm, (almost absolute), conviction that there must be an error. There is simply too much that is well explained by relativity as it stands.

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