Feeds

Top Italian OPERA boffin steps down after faster-than-light mistake

Gran Sasso lab promises more neutrino experiments, though

Intelligent flash storage arrays

The Italian boffin who led the OPERA experiment that reported neutrinos travelling faster than the speed of light has resigned today after the results were refuted by other scientists.

Italy's national institute of nuclear physics (INFN) said that physicist Antonio Ereditato had stepped down from his position with OPERA.

"INFN hopes that the collaboration will find its unity and new leadership again, in pursuing its primary objective, that of observing the appearance of new types of neutrinos starting with mu type neutrinos coming from CERN,” Antonio Masiero, the deputy chief at the INFN, said in an emailed statement.

"We would like to remind you, as reported in the meeting held at the INFN Gran Sasso laboratory last Wednesday, further and definitive measurements of speed of neutrinos  will be done from Gran Sasso, from four experiments (including OPERA) when CERN will send a new neutrino bunched beam at the end of April," he added.

The OPERA experiment was measuring neutrinos travelling from the CERN centre in Geneva to Gran Sasso in Italy late last year when it seemed to find that the zippy sub-atomic particle had made the journey at 60 billionths of a second faster than light, thereby disproving Einstein's special theory of relativity.

Announcement of the findings caused a storm of media attention as well as criticism from other scientists who said the results had to be wrong.

Time-travelling hopefuls were soon disappointed when do-overs of the experiment failed to reach the same conclusions. Then last month, reports emerged that OPERA had gotten the superluminal results courtesy of a faulty cable and a computer muck-up.

As a final nail in the coffin, boffins from the ICARUS experiment said earlier this month that their neutrinos definitely didn't go from CERN to Gran Sasso at faster-than-light speeds.

Announcing the ICARUS results, CERN research director Sergio Bertolucci said the OPERA results were probably wrong, but the scientists shouldn't get the blame for that.

"Whatever the result, the OPERA experiment has behaved with perfect scientific integrity in opening their measurement to broad scrutiny, and inviting independent measurements," he said.

"This is how science works." ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
MARS NEEDS WOMEN, claims NASA pseudo 'naut: They eat less
'Some might find this idea offensive' boffin admits
SECRET U.S. 'SPACE WARPLANE' set to return from SPY MISSION
Robot minishuttle X-37B returns after almost 2 years in orbit
LOHAN crash lands on CNN
Overflies Die Welt en route to lively US news vid
You can crunch it all you like, but the answer is NOT always in the data
Hear that, 'data journalists'? Our analytics prof holds forth
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
No sail: NASA spikes Sunjammer
'Solar sail' demonstrator project binned
America's super-secret X-37B plane returns to Earth after nearly TWO YEARS aloft
674 days in space for US Air Force's mystery orbital vehicle
Carry On Cosmonaut: Willful Child is a poor taste Star Trek parody
Cringeworthy, crude and crass jokes abound in Steven Erikson’s sci-fi debut
Origins of SEXUAL INTERCOURSE fished out of SCOTTISH LAKE
Fossil find proves it first happened 385 million years ago
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
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.