Feeds

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

Gran Sasso lab promises more neutrino experiments, though

Top three mobile application threats

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." ®

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
KILLER SPONGES menacing California coastline
Surfers are safe, crustaceans less so
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'
LOHAN and the amazing technicolor spaceplane
Our Vulture 2 livery is wrapped, and it's les noix du mutt
Liftoff! SpaceX Falcon 9 lifts Dragon on third resupply mission to ISS
SpaceX snaps smartly into one-second launch window
KILLER ROBOTS, DNA TAMPERING and PEEPING CYBORGS: the future looks bright!
Americans optimistic about technology despite being afraid of EVERYTHING
R.I.P. LADEE: Probe smashes into lunar surface at 3,600mph
Swan dive signs off successful science mission
Discovery time for 200m WONDER MATERIALS shaved from 4 MILLENNIA... to 4 years
Alloy, Alloy: Boffins in speed-classification breakthrough
prev story

Whitepapers

SANS - Survey on application security programs
In this whitepaper learn about the state of application security programs and practices of 488 surveyed respondents, and discover how mature and effective these programs are.
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.