Feeds

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

Gran Sasso lab promises more neutrino experiments, though

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

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." ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
Bond villains lament as Wicked Lasers withdraw death ray
Want to arm that shark? Better get in there quick
Renewable energy 'simply WON'T WORK': Top Google engineers
Windmills, solar, tidal - all a 'false hope', say Stanford PhDs
Antarctic ice THICKER than first feared – penguin-bot boffins
Robo-sub scans freezing waters, rocks warming models
SEX BEAST SEALS may be egging each other on to ATTACK PENGUINS
Boffin: 'I think the behaviour is increasing in frequency'
Reuse the Force, Luke: SpaceX's Elon Musk reveals X-WING designs
And a floating carrier for recyclable rockets
The next big thing in medical science: POO TRANSPLANTS
Your brother's gonna die, kid, unless we can give him your, well ...
NASA launches new climate model at SC14
75 days of supercomputing later ...
Britain's HUMAN DNA-strewing Moon mission rakes in £200k
3 days, and Kickstarter moves lander 37% nearer takeoff
Your PHONE is slowly KILLING YOU
Doctors find new Digitillnesses - 'text neck' and 'telepressure'
prev story

Whitepapers

Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Driving business with continuous operational intelligence
Introducing an innovative approach offered by ExtraHop for producing continuous operational intelligence.
5 critical considerations for enterprise cloud backup
Key considerations when evaluating cloud backup solutions to ensure adequate protection security and availability of enterprise data.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?