Thursday, September 22, 2011

When science fiction comes knocking

My partner and I have been bantering back and forth on this bit of news from CERN for the last hour or so. Really? FTL neutrinos? That would be ... well. Now that I try to write it down, I don't know the word for it. Cool? Scary? More science fictiony than I'd like the world to be? A restoration of a sense of symmetry that I've always craved to have about the universe, that my inner scientist has squashed for logical reasons?

My partner and I have resorted to glib silliness as we wait for the experts from other particle accelerators to weigh in. He thinks it's an artifact of instrument errors coinciding and amplifying to produce an outcome many many standard deviations out. I think someone forgot to divide by 2.

If true, the implications are just... too wild for this to be true. I'm holding my breath. Not to find out if this is true, but because I'm curious how this happened.

Update: Randall Monroe does it again. This had me laughing out loud.

1 comment:

  1. I think this is a wonderful moment for science. Not because I believe the outcome, but because I am hopeful this may rekindle healthy skepticism in the physics community, that is currently more obsessed with fads than a 15 year old teen texting on her phone.