GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – A group of scientists with Italy’s Gran Sasso research centre say their measurements of neutrinos sent by the Cern labs in Geneva indicate colleagues are mistaken in thinking these have travelled faster than the speed of light. They published their findings Saturday 19 November.
Another group of Gran Sasso researchers, working south of Rome with the Opera programme at Cern in Geneva, claimed in September 2011 that they measured neutrinos travelling faster than the speed of light. Their finding provoked a flurry of scientific debate, given the implications for physics of Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity.
Robert Evans of Reuters in Geneva reports that the second Gran Sasso group, working far below the ground, published a paper on the Cornell University Library site Saturday that refutes this: “Icarus, another experiment at Gran Sasso—which is deep under mountains and run by Italy’s National Institute of National Physics—now argues that their measurements of the neutrinos energy on arrival contradict that reading.”
The new paper comes just days after other reports came in that appeared to confirm the Opera group’s initial findings. The Cern team that announced its findings in September were careful to say they were not announcing a discovery, but rather the results of their tests, inviting speculation and debate over the implications of these.