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." ®

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Boffins attempt to prove the UNIVERSE IS JUST A HOLOGRAM
Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?
Our LOHAN spaceplane ballocket Kickstarter climbs through £8000
Through 25 per cent but more is needed: Get your UNIQUE rewards!
NASA to reformat Opportunity rover's memory from 125 million miles away
Interplanetary admins will back up data and get to work
LOHAN tunes into ultra long range radio
And verily, Vultures shall speak status unto distant receivers
SpaceX prototype rocket EXPLODES over Texas. 'Tricky' biz, says Elon Musk
No injuries or near injuries. Flight stayed in designated area
Galileo, Galileo! Galileo, Galileo! Galileo fit to go. Magnifico
I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me. But at least I can find my way with ESA GPS by 2017
EOS, Lockheed to track space junk from Oz
WA facility gets laser-eyes out of the fog
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
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?