Feeds

CERN boffins re-running neutrino speed test

Charge the particle gun, Igor!

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

In the wake of September’s surprising experimental results that suggested the observation of faster-than-light neutrinos, CERN has announced that it has been re-running the experiment over recent days.

Since the pre-publication release of its original dataset, CERN’s data has been raked over by physicists, scientists, computer scientists and statisticians all over the world. Some have looked for exotic explanations for the results (such as allowing the neutrinos to pop off into another dimension for the trip), while others have turned their attention to the possibility that there are systematic errors in the experiment itself.

Criticisms of the experiment have proposed errors in the time measurement, or have asked whether CERN properly accounted for Earth’s rotation, or queried the statistical analysis of the results.

It’s this last aspect that CERN now wants to put to bed. According to the BBC, the design of the experiment has been revised to make it easier to correlate the received neutrinos with the proton pulse that creates them.

The old experimental design, which used 10 microsecond bursts of protons at CERN to generate the neutrinos received at Gran Sasso, is being replaced by a new design in which the proton bursts will last just a couple of nanoseconds, with a 500 ns gap between bursts.

This should permit a more precise correlation between events at the two ends of the experiment, and therefore give physicists more confidence in whatever neutrino speed is inferred from the results.

As theoretical physicist Matt Strasser notes in this blog post, CERN’s original experiment wasn’t designed with highly accurate time correlations in mind. OPERA’s main research program is observing neutrino oscillations, and puts a premium on generating large numbers of neutrinos.

Welcoming the new measurements, Strasser writes: “apparently the concerns raised by the community have been strong enough to prompt OPERA to request that the CERN neutrino beam operators … send them short pulses.”

A new dataset is expected by the end of November. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Boffins say they've got Lithium batteries the wrong way around
Surprises at the nano-scale mean our ideas about how they charge could be all wrong
Thought that last dinosaur was BIG? This one's bloody ENORMOUS
Weighed several adult elephants, contend boffins
Europe prepares to INVADE comet: Rosetta landing site chosen
No word yet on whether backup site is labelled 'K'
India's MOM Mars mission makes final course correction
Mangalyaan probe will feel the burn of orbital insertion on September 24th
City hidden beneath England's Stonehenge had HUMAN ABATTOIR. And a pub
Boozed-up ancients drank beer before tearing corpses apart
'Duck face' selfie in SPAAAACE: Rosetta's snap with bird comet
Probe prepares to make first landing on fast-moving rock
Archaeologists and robots on hunt for more Antikythera pieces
How much of the world's oldest computer can they find?
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.