Feeds

CERN boffins re-running neutrino speed test

Charge the particle gun, Igor!

Top three mobile application threats

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. ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Most Americans doubt Big Bang, not too sure about evolution, climate change – survey
Science no match for religion, politics, business interests
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
Liftoff! SpaceX Falcon 9 lifts Dragon on third resupply mission to ISS
SpaceX snaps smartly into one-second launch window
R.I.P. LADEE: Probe smashes into lunar surface at 3,600mph
Swan dive signs off successful science mission
Opportunity selfie: Martian winds have given the spunky ol' rover a spring cleaning
Power levels up 70 per cent as the rover keeps on truckin'
Elon Musk's LEAKY THRUSTER gas stalls Space Station supply run
Helium seeps from Falcon 9 first stage, delays new legs for NASA robonaut
Dragon capsule arrives at space station for Easter Sunday delivery
SpaceX reports Falcon booster made controlled touchdown in ocean
New FEMTO-MOON sighted BIRTHING from Saturn's RING
Icy 'Peggy' looks to be leaving the outer rings
prev story

Whitepapers

Mainstay ROI - Does application security pay?
In this whitepaper learn how you and your enterprise might benefit from better software security.
Combat fraud and increase customer satisfaction
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Top three mobile application threats
Learn about three of the top mobile application security threats facing businesses today and recommendations on how to mitigate the risk.
3 Big data security analytics techniques
Applying these Big Data security analytics techniques can help you make your business safer by detecting attacks early, before significant damage is done.