Faster than the Speed of Light?

Faster than the Speed of Light?

2011, Science  -   217 Comments
Ratings: 7.53/10 from 53 users.

Faster than the Speed of Light?In September 2011, an international group of scientists has made an astonishing claim - they have detected particles that seemed to travel faster than the speed of light.

It was a claim that contradicted more than a hundred years of scientific orthodoxy. Suddenly there was talk of all kinds of bizarre concepts, from time travel to parallel universes.

So what is going on? Has Einstein's famous theory of relativity finally met its match? Will we one day be able to travel into the past or even into another universe?

In this film, Professor Marcus du Sautoy explores one of the most dramatic scientific announcements for a generation. In clear, simple language he tells the story of the science we thought we knew, how it is being challenged, and why it matters.

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Hiroji kurihara
2 years ago

About constancy of speed of light

Is light speed constant or not ? It will depend on experiment. In an experiment, it is constant (invariable).In an experiment, it is not constant (variable).

Hiroji Kurihara
4 years ago

Reconsider space_ time

Our motion will not affect space_time. Our motion is various and space_time is one and only. And every relative speed will follow Galilean transformation Including speed of light.

Hiroji Kurihara
4 years ago

Speed of light is variable

On everything of a light ray before incoming (on wavelength, amplitude, waveform, etc, and these varying), motion of an observer has no effect. So, in the formula : lightspeed = frequency x wavelength, lightspeed and frequency vary.

hiroji kurihara
4 years ago

Speed of Light : Reexamination

Plane waves of light (wavelength is constant) are coming from just above. An observer is moving horizontally at different speed. Speed relative to the waves does not vary. But speed relative to photons or light ray will vary (both will be real existence). With the formula : light speed = f λ, speed of waves can be shown. However, speed of photon and light ray will not be shown. Because of large speed of light, this problem is not noticeable.

In outer space, plane waves of a star light are coming. An observer is at a standstill. Speed of light waves and photons (light ray) relative to the observer will not be the same (in general). By the way, speed of light waves and of photons (light ray) relative to the aether frame will be the same (as a physical constant : not c, maybe).

Sorry, I cannot receive E-mail. I do not have PC.

Derek Coates
5 years ago

Since particles can be in more than one place at once then in theory something going the speed of light can be observed to be going a tad bit faster than the speed of light.

6 years ago

Really, this video (and others of the same "category") should really be removed, should have been removed in 2012, the year in which the authors corrected their previous experimental errors and found the speed consistent with the speed of light.

6 years ago

No need to watch something that is roughly 100 years outdated. It has been known since the time of Tesla (he wrote an article about it and referred to a fellow scientists measurements) that some particles travel faster than the speed of light. It would seem these particles don't have much mass in order to zoom so fast. You don't hear of measurements of Kim Jong missiles traveling quite that fast. smile.

It seems when "they" figger outs how to become nearly massless --or perceived so by the forces that matter, they too can exceed the speed of light. Then like a person driving too fast in slippery conditions, slowing down may be the hard part, unless you bounce good. And how do you really know where you are going? Oh yeah, curvilinear triangularology.

Does light travel faster than the speed of light? It would seems so since its speed depends on the medium it travels through. If not, it certainly travels slower than its supposed constant, through certain mediums.

6 years ago

i guess they made this documentary before the "loose plug theory".

7 years ago

i really wish these documentaries would share answers rather then just ending with more questions..making a doc before anything is certain is just a blatant hoax.

9 years ago

Spoiler alert: A loose fiber optic cable connecting a GPS receiver with some pc card was altering the results of OPERA's experiment, according to the wikipedia article. Further testing indicated that the OPERA initial results were wrong, the speed of those muon neutrinos was consistent with the speed of light. Einstein's universal speed limit seems to persist, after all.

9 years ago

finally a comment section with INTELLIGENT posters.

9 years ago

I was watching something else somewhere else today before this doc when I was suddenly struck with how futile the life of a photon is. When you think about it, in a relative way, every one of those poor little guys die at the same instance they are born. All those photons smacking into the back of your eye socket like intergalactic sperms as they race from the Andromeda galaxy across 2.5 million years of our time ... they never see any of it. To them it's just blinking in and out of existence. So sad :(

I came here in my sadness with the hope that neutrinos would fair better. Perhaps, I though, if they do indeed travel faster than light then at least they'd get to experience something ... even if it was all backwards in time like some dodgy David Lynch movie.

Alas, twas only myself I fooled.

Good doc though, even if I did already know the ending.

9 years ago

so if gravity affects light? how can the speed of light be a constant no matter where in the universe you are ? i dont believe it! i think light will travel at a slightly different speed on Jupiter than on earth. not only because of gravity , but because of the atmospheric differences.
the photons at some point have to run into different molecules and elements in the atmospheres of the planets slowing the waves down at a certain level!

9 years ago

Okay, real quickly here, the speed of light is not a static thing, it was an average calculated from a list of results from different tests in different labs conducted by different scientists all around the globe. They dropped the highest and lowest speeds from the list, and mathematically averaged the rest of them.. uggh.

9 years ago

Would like to wish Vlatko, my fellow moderators, the regulars on TDF community, and all other commentors, a merry Xmas and a great new year.

EZ Cortez
9 years ago

So.... they don't understand what happened so they say it went outside our universe/dimension then came back earlier. Just like a person diagnosed with cancer and later is tested free of it, without treatment, Maybe it was God! Or maybe it was magic! Heck, while we are playing this game, maybe it was both!
If there is no way to test it then there is no theory. Science 101. Seems string theory is striking the wrong chords (pun intended). Thanks for playing, though.

9 years ago

For the record, neutrinos do not travel faster than the speed of light, and it has already been proven that they had made mistakes in their measurements, and calculations. Furthermore, it is only been implied from another experiment that neutrinos have a non zero mass. (never proven, and no number assigned) In fact, up until 2008, it was accepted that neutrinos were massless particles. For this reason, when they announced that they had accelerated neutrinos beyond the speed of light, I didn't buy it for a second.
An electron has an extremely tiny mass, and has never been accelerated beyond lightspeed since the inception of particle accelerators. Ergo, had they actually accelerated neutrinos beyond light speed, the only conclusion that was logical, is that neutrinos are massless particles. Since they were unable to do it, implies that neutrinos may have a non zero mass. On this particular point, Einstein rules, and their attempt to dethrone special relativity was pure folly!
P.S: Dark energy, and dark mass are the equivalent of Einstein's cosmological constant.(an attempt to make something work, because they refuse to accept there is flaws in the standard model - introduce something that can never be proven or measured) Furthermore, the universe is collapsing under the force of gravity, (not expanding) which explains why this movement is accelerating. (thus, no need for dark matter, or dark energy) Any questions?

9 years ago

Not only that recently a device was made which when light enters it actually accelerates it.I saw it on physics. org.

10 years ago

Read another book, ya'll. Read Hands of Light written by the physicist and healer Barbara Brennan. She says all of us are energy beings, not solid. And it is consciousness that vibrates faster than the speed of light. And it is the spin around the nucleus that spins faster than the speed of light. Each of of our cells, atoms, quarks has a spin and that spin is what makes us not solid.
That is why so many spiritual books say that we are spirit. We are literally not solid. Solid is a rumor. Solid is what happens when energy slows down and the frequencies and amps become denser and denser, but still not solid because there always has to be a spin.
Read The Holographic Universe. We live in energy that behaves like the ocean. Waves and series of waves we are. This series of waves and coils that we are has condensed so tightly that we call it solid for convenience.
But this convenience has led to Darwinism which has led to the belief in death and disease and separation. Darwinism says that it is survival of the fittest and then we all die. Intelligent design says that we vibrate as energy beings now in the spacious present, changing vibration as we travel between parallel realities, but always vibrating the speed of God or faster than the speed of light. We never die because we are energy.

10 years ago

Neutrinos do NOT travel faster-than-light - it was a mistake in the readings - and this site needs to be tweaked. However, quantum entanglement/non-locality or as Einstein called it, "spooky action at a distance" is real and has been experimentally proven since c. 1935.
I'm an independent researcher and theorist. For many years, I've been conducting experiments in the 'speed and power of thought' and came across this site through a google search. I've proven that thought can be much faster-than-light, going back in time and creating a new chain-of-events (from my perspective) that result in a perceived 'non-coincidental synchronic reaction' or 'synchronism'. I've documented many strong examples of this 'Speed & Power of Thought Theory'.

Andrew Hansen
10 years ago

Sigh, this was an error in the recording instrument. Furthermore, traveling backwards in time (for those who mentioned it) is impossible. The idea of time-travel has gained popularity because according to many equations in physics, time is reversible. However, this does not accurately reflect reality. This is because of three things:

1. The second law of thermodynamics: entropy increases in a system and never the reverse. This remains true unless a considerable amount of energy (relatively speaking) is applied to the system to "organize" it, so applying this to the universe would conflict with the first law of thermodynamics.

2. The past is non-existent. The idea of time as a line is only a model. Time is just what we use to describe the interactions between particles as a system changes. In truth, there is always only the present. The past and future are merely conceptual or predictive.

3. Certain particles decay in certain circumstances (thus going against conservation of mass). Since they no longer exist in our universe, we would have to create mass to account for their loss in order to then "reverse" the flow of time. As this cannot be done, we cannot travel back in time.

The problem here is that many of the theories about physics have been misunderstood and misconstrued. For some reason, many people have the misconception that with physics anything is possible. This is not true. Take trying to escape our universe for example (which is impossible). If we ever could, at best the laws of physics would differ in a way that wouldn't facilitate our ability to exist.

10 years ago

Is this more New Age crap, like What the Bleep Do We Know? We know plenty, and it's not up to liberal-arts New Age doodoo-heads to interpret science for the rest of us.

11 years ago

im stuck with a pressing question that's been burning in my head for a few days. im trying to write a paper on neutrinos and i saw a few documentaries stating that they maybe as fast if not 60 nano seconds faster in the doc. it stated that neutrinos are formed in a membrane (dimensions) with light, light is not able to pass through these membranes which is why light keeps the same speed; it also states that since neutrinos can pass through membranes (dimensions ) it is possible that it could be slightly faster than light. here is where i am stumped. February 23rd 1987 a supernova was recorded, according to the published reports neutrinos were moving slowing than the speed of light. i want to know is it due to the path that was taken were there no membranes for the neutrinos to pass through, are neutrinos only faster than light when passing through membranes and was the experiment OPERA something that should be studied for a different reason? is there some signification about the space between Geneva and Italy that has caused a possible membrane to appear and speed up the neutrinos to cause them to be 60 nano seconds faster than the speed of light?

11 years ago

I can make a sense of what de macro Mario said.He is able to understand neutrinos can pass through matter and gravitational effect. By understanding neutrinos it could help us more about the real speed limit of the universe. For now I will stick to speed of light.

leif Muffett
11 years ago

wasn't this attributed to an error caused by a loose fiber optic cable?

11 years ago

Well I look at the possibility that all matter in existence is inside a net. All matter can't escape the net apart from one which is called the neutrinos. It escapes the net and finds itself in an almost identical dimension. Then, em I don't know. My brain is hurting and I'm off to bed to think about John Titor the time traveler who just happened to mention this future discovery back in 1999. Strange but true!

11 years ago

I'll be watching star Trek...

11 years ago

Understood hardly a thing. My physics seem to be stuck back in the eighties (So 20th). Let me know when I can go see my great-grandfather. In the meantime I'll have to brush up. Any suggestions?

11 years ago

It seems to me that the ability to move faster than light therefore time travel would have to possible in order to explain an omnipotent being that exist in all space at all times. Time travel would have to be possible just not within the grasp of humans at our present stage of technology, knowledge or development! Just because we (humans) cannot explain or duplicate a thing doesn't necessarily make it impossible or improbable for all... we are not alone in the universe, nor are we (humans) the be all end all of technology, knowledge or beings in my opinion!

11 years ago

They found particles that move faster than the speed of ligh using the particle collider thingy.

11 years ago

Guys, i'm an Italian guy with NO physic education background, and even my English is a bit drunk still... so if you all wanna laugh at me for what i'm gonna say i will accept it....... but.....
i'v been watching documentaries like this for few years and when i saw this one i got like an illumination, i'v been thinking about it for few days and i desperately need someone to explain me one thing, because i think i might have one theory that explain why the neutrinos appear to travel faster than the speed of light.
Basically is because neutrinos are not effected from gravity of matter and they can travel trough matter without interfere with it, while light doesn't, so, in presence of a massive object in space like for example a large star, the light have to follow the curves of space-time while neutrinos can keep going straight trough the star, an observer located behind the star will detect neutrinos before the beam of light simply because the light beam has been traveling for a longer distance following the curves of space-time.
I believe that neutrinos can't travel back in time, just forth, and can't brake the speed of light limit, but they can just travel trough shortcuts...

Please, if there is anyone out there who can give me an explanation about what i just wrote, contact me, even if you just wish to tell me why and where i'm wrong, in simple words as i'm not a mathematician and i don't understand complicated formulas...

thanks, Mario

11 years ago

Has anybody thought of that "Negative Energy" might the cause to the time deferential between point A to point B. Negative has been proven to warp space-time and who knows CERN maybe generating it every time they send the neutrinos to Italy. This could cause point A and Point B to contract and let the neutrinos appear to be FTL, when only traveling slower than light. This phenomenon is mentioned in Einstein's Theory of General Relativity stating that Gravity is just the warping of Space-Time. So far i have not heard of anybody putting this in account.

11 years ago

Only GOD can move faster than the speed of light... I am zerg... resistance is futile.... this is earth shaking! Now we can all breathe a sigh of relief... the world is saved!

11 years ago

Angelo Molinaro
Angelo Molinaro
I had an article published in the scientific journal titled Galilean Electrodynamics Volume 15 Number1 January/Feburary 2004 issue. The article was titled The Invariance of Mass, which proves mathematically that Mass is an invariant. This finding proves that we can travel faster than the speed of light. I also wrote a book titled The Two State Universe which describes this finding. The book also describes a new theory of the Universe and Gravity, and answere many of the unanswered questions of Science.
I have an undergraduate degree from MIT, I also have a Doctor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering, and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Theoretical Physics.

11 years ago

Fastees(neutrinos) are faster than speed of light in a straight line,
where as neutrinos are not the ultimate fastest ,
fastees(so) are faster than neutrinos as it travel through neutrinos,
(virtually we can travel into the past or future as we are doing it already, not physically)

11 years ago

the PROOF of neutrinos moving faster then light can be seen in super nova observation , the last super nova event watched in 1987 showed neutrinos moving slower than the light , but those neutrino''s are from the second wave ,THEY MISSED THE FIRST WAVE because it out ran the first light burst by 60 nano seconds divided by distance minus that from date of first light pulse seen gives date they would've seen increased neutrino emission from said super nova ,So they need to watch for incidents of increased neutrino emissions in space and see if light pulses increases from said area of increased neutrinos .simple observational science will prove the theory correct .................

Michael Clarke
11 years ago

What is the True Speed Of Light..?? Did Albert (the Librarian) get it wrong..??

Stephen Pazian
11 years ago

Awesome Doc... and fast, I might add. I just starting reading about this experiment a few weeks ago on the science websites and I'm already seeing a well-produced documentary that explains it (to this nonphysicist) far better than any of the articles I've read. It really gets your mind spinning trying to think of reasons they came up with this result. When I first read about this experiment on sciencedaily I assumed they were leaving out some sort of relatavistic effects....

For Example...
If time itself is not absolute how can one be absolutely certain with regard to speeds measured so close to the ultimate speed limit, perhaps it could all boil down to a small difference in altitude between the the detectors and the beam. After all, we've all heard the phrase that extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof (expect in politics of course :p)...

They've clearly already thought of such things, however, as they've gone so far as to account for the infinitesimaly small movement between the continents. That bit wasn't posted in any article I've read on these experiments. It seems the degree of proof this team is offering is extraordinary after all. So now I'm left with... Wow this result really is amzing!

Of the ideas put forth in this doc, I like the idea that the particles might have been blown off our membrane universe for some short time, causing the particles to appear to have achieved FTL travel. It would not only give the first experimental evidence for String Theory (which I think is long overdue) it would also proove the existance of the Multiverse and who knows what else. As exciting as this doc is, it fills me with a profound sense of sadness that I personally wasn't better at Calculus :p

Again, Awesome Doc.. I'm now more greatly anticipating the future results from Chicago and Japan confirming these findings than I am the discovery of the Higgs.


And to those who want to appear intelligent by pointing out that he mispronounced Nuclear, get over it.. I'm sure 99% of us noticed that.

11 years ago

"NUCELUS"??? I wish people would use the correct form ie: "NUCLEUS" instead of the Americanised form!

Thanks for the very interesting documentary!

11 years ago

Why can't people correctly pronounce the word "nuclear"?

francisco ortega
11 years ago

i was just thinking, what if the speed of neutrinos was not constant. Mybe when it first begins to travel it accelerates at a faster rate then light (exceeding lights absolute velocity) but through time will slow down allowing light to catch up to the neutrinos. Theirs probably some rule of the universe that restricts the deceleration i am trying to explain. Anyway just wanted to throw that out their :)

Shane Gaumond
11 years ago

Nothing wrong with the physics and or machines here although I am curious as to how they calibrated the detectors timing to start with. I suspect the calculated distance between the 2 points is less then there thinking it is and Earth's gravity is at play.
It would be ironic if the theory that is on the verge of being busted saves itself because when the theory of relativity is considered the distance between point A and B is less then we thought it was.

11 years ago

Night all x

11 years ago

yes lightspeed broken again. see the link below:

The US Minos experiment and Japan's T2K experiment will also test the observations. It is likely to be several months before they report back.

11 years ago

CERN ran the test again. Same result.

11 years ago

Contact: Eduard Albert Meier story is a documentary by lee elders, with wendelle stevens in it as well as billy meiers, that has clips that deal with faster than light travel. I tried to get this site to show it. I havent seen it here as yet. Oh and try as they might they couldnt debunk it. So take a look at this very interesting view of our universe and who is in it. In other words, watch the whole thing before cheap shotting it.

11 years ago

Multiply anything with 0 and it is 0, except with infinity, that can give you any result. Infinity has some really weird properties.

Nobody has any clue what dark matter is, much less if it interacts with anything.
All we know is, it is all around us, because of how galaxies rotate and other phenomena. It is believed to be more than 80% of all the mass in the universe.

Light interacting with dark matter, is what makes the most sense to me. Maybe this experiment is first proof of interaction. But I might be completely off track :)

11 years ago

Anything at this speed is an awesome discovery.

11 years ago

Damn Yi zero times anything is zero.

11 years ago

What if light is slower because it interacts with dark matter (or who knows what is in "empty space")?
And the true "speed of light" is the the one now measured by neutrinos, since they don't interact as much (or not at all) with this mestirious dark matter.
Maybe the most famous constant, speed of light, is just a little bit bigger, and no fundamental laws are broken.