# Faster than the Speed of Light?

7.52
Ratings: 7.52/10 from 52 users.

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.

## 217 Comments / User Reviews

1. 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).

2. 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.

1. Aether

Speed of light relative to mediums (water or air) is constant. Speed of light relative to aether (physical substance) is constant also. This is shown by aberrations.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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. 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.

7. 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.

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

9. 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.

10. 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.

11. finally a comment section with INTELLIGENT posters.

12. 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.

13. 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!

14. 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.

1. Thanks for the reminder, peer review at its most practical in the formation of everyday applications of the public mind.In your oppinion does this improve or remove speculative objective pursuit of questioning the underlying mechanics of everything?

2. I'd have to say that any pursuit questioning the underlying mechanics of everything in the Universe is a noble pursuit, and anything (such as the inclusion of non-static light speed) that broadens the horizon of that speculation can do nothing but help in the true discovery and explanation of Universal Mechanics or "grand design". Clearly our present understanding of science and mathematics are slightly broken and need some tweaking, it's vital these topics are looked at with open logical minds in order to ensure a destiny befitting of mankind.

15. 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.

1. same to you and everyone else

16. 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.

17. 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?

1. Where are you getting your facts? What scientific evidence even implies that the universe is collapsing on itself? It's proven that galaxies are moving away from us, proven by the red shift caused by lights equivalent of the Doppler effect. The farther the galaxy, the greater the red shift, thus it's moving faster. What evidence can you possibly use to dispute this? Please fill me in because I can't think of anything that has even implied that the universe may be collapsing.

2. @Brandon Miller: I am more than happy to answer your question.
1) When Einstein completed general relativity in 1916, he concluded that the universe must either be expanding, or contracting, but not static. (this led to the notion of the universe having a beginning - the big bang - a derissive term coined by Fred Hoyle who believed in the steady state theory) Einstein himself did not like the idea of the universe having a beginning. This is why he tried to introduce a cosmological constant to counteract the force of gravity. None the less, when Edwin Hubble showed Einstein the red shift of galaxies through his very large telescope, Einstein had to accept what his own theory had implied. (not static) With that said, Doppler red shift speaks only of whether something is moving towards or away from you. It has nothing to do with acceleration. The fact that galaxies were observed (generally) to be moving away from one another, the idea of expansion took hold.
2) The fact that we are part of the universe, means it is impossible to distinguish whether the universe is expanding or contracting. To test this, just draw it out on a piece of paper for confirmation. (galaxy A and galaxy B both contracting over time (while stationary) will still give the appearance that they are moving away from one another)
3) It wasn't until the late 1990's, that this movement (expansion/contraction) of the universe was measured to be accelerating. The fact that it is accelerating implies contraction (shrinking) under the force of gravity, because over time, (13.7 billion years) this movement would be slowing down like all explosions, not accelerating.
As I stated previously, we can never know with certainty either way since we are part of the system. With that said, the logical conclusion that is implied by the evidence supports contraction, or collapse. Another implication is that the initial expansion stopped long ago, and has already started towards the 'big crunch', under the force of gravity.
Under the standard model, scientists keep looking for missing mass (dark matter/dark energy) both items that are the the equivalent of Einstein's cosmological constant, because they can never be observed, or measured.(philosophy, not science) As with all things, people who have invested a lifetime attempting to make the standard model work have lost objectivity. This is precisely why Einstein could improve upon Newton because he had to accept the obvious, even if it was non intuitive. (time is not constant) 100 years later, we know this with certainty, however this did not make what Einstein concluded any easier to accept at his time!
Note: If string theory is correct, the graviton is interdimensional throughout the multiverse, which would explain the so called missing mass.
Everything I have stated is congruent with special and general relativity, and quantum mechanics.
If you have any further questions, let me know. Take care, and best wishes Brandon Miller!

3. Why are you saying explosions? no explosion, but expansion re: inflation. Just called BB for lack of a better word. Just by saying explosion, you blew it, pun intended.

4. @Achems_Razor: Your criticism of one word is appropriate, but does not invalidate my position, nor negate it's logic. I was just responding with a language that most people can relate to, (visualize) regarding dissipation of velocity from initial output. (especially with gravity working against it)
Since I know you are intelligent enough to find fault with the argument, (if it existed) and chose instead to focus on my choice of words, is a confirmation that my position is valid. (thanks!)

5. Well no, your position to me is a thought experiment, only valid if you have your experiment proven by math at least, and validated by peer review and published, sorry.

6. @Achems_Razor: That is fine, and I don't expect you to take my word for it, but the theory is none the less sound. Since I learned from the best,(thought experiments) I am in good company, and I can wait for confirmation, even if someone else takes credit for my ideas. (it happens every day to many people!)

7. *synaptogasm* Job well done, Cosmotic Neurotransmitter!

(Another comment in MOD review for link, but see today's WIRED: Scientists Discover a Jewel at the Heart of Quantum Physics)

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

19. 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.

1. p.s. its the gap between atoms that makes us "not solid" not some spiritual psuedo science by some unknown author who thinks "spirits" are a part of science when the spirit is completely unfounded in scientific fact. the spin around the quarks is faster than light? wtf? no. solid is when atoms for tight groups and get in the way of other atoms, which is tied to atomic groups. frequencies and amps? u realize amps are a mathematical formula not an object right? parallel realities?

this is a documentary site. not a place to spout psuedo science or religious ideas. please. leave your bullcrap religious ideas in church, or in your head. science revolves around proof. not some idea your favorite author spouted while on drugs.

2. I agree with you, except this is totally the place to spout psuedo science or religious ideas, even if they come from my an idea my favorite author spouted while on drugs.

20. 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'.

1. Hi Richard,

Having read your post, I am compelled to respond based on basic logic. I may not be a scientist but a Historian, yet, my knowledge of History and the repeated logic in the events that I have studied have shown that no idea is definite. In other words, Man cannot be certain of any of any information they have. For example, a man came up some time back to say the world was spherical. The response of the whole world-(led by the Catholic Church) was to persecute him because they were absolutely sure that the knowledge...the information they had was absolute. But, was it? Mobile phones used by Captain Kirk in Star Trek was at that time considered fiction and impossible. But today, we have it everywhere. The ship's doors opened on their own accord. For decades now, we've had doors with this capability. Presently, Project Bluebeam enables the stealth infusion of ideas in the minds of men through some sort of invisible projection.
To cut this post short, please allow me to insist that we keep our minds open to the possibility that matter can in fact travel faster than the speed of light. You never know. Our knowledge...our present knowledge could be likened to an ant walking on a basket ball but never knowing on what it is walking. At this present level of our understanding, we may conclude absolutely that matter cannot possibly travel faster than light. But, how can we be certain?...How can we be sure? Is any knowledge really absolute?

21. 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.

1. Mr Hansen your points are very interesting. I am not a physics expert or anything likr thst but I do habe my opinion on the subject at hand. Regarding the second law of thermodynamics who is to really say we as re not living sn existence that we hsve lived and relived and relived over and over again...therfore toggling back and forth totally oblivios to the our formrr existence. Mathematically...a negative plus a negative equals a positive..As far as living in anothrt universe...hmmmI believe the energy of your thoughts would allow you too..Thank you in advance for reading my response.

22. 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.

1. Yes, some guy who worked in a patent office and played violin and piano should have kept his 'science' to himself (Albert Einstein).

23. 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?

1. Are you from the future?

24. 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.

1. thanks for your comment, i really appreciate it

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

26. 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!

27. I'll be watching star Trek...

28. 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?

29. 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!

1. I totally agree with you Patrick maybe it's these limitations that we humans put on ourselves that is keeping us from moving to the universe like other alien beings... I also believe that speed of thought is faster than the speed of light. I can travel to Mars faster in my mind then light could leave Earth and travel to and get to Mars. and the mere fact that I thought it makes it real and some dimensions of space and time.

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

1. So funny, are you as precise in your Mercenarry ForHire thingy, don't quit your day job.

31. 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

1. I myself have no major physics education but the one problem that i can think of with your reasoning.

If this were the case then the super nova in 1987 would have shown the opposite of your theory, due to the fact that, well i' guessing that the light and neutrinos would have passed stars and traveled further through the fabric of space, this would show that your theory is a contradiction to what was observed. seeing how the experiment here on earth was only in short distances not like the super nova which was very far away.

But it is a cool thought.

2. Yes, thanks for replying.. i already tough about that and i think there is an explanation why the light from the supernova reached us a bit earlier than the neutrinos, at beginning i tough that for some reason there was no major object on their path, but that's highly improbable or even impossible, so another explanation came in my mind:
We on earth detected just the light that has been traveling in a straight line to us as neutrinos did, all the other beams of light where simply distorted and pushed away from that line so we where not able to detect them, if we could have done so,( like having light detectors somewhere else in outer space ) we would have seen them arrive after the neutrinos that reached earth,(based on equal distance ).
Here on earth, the Italian Physicist had this result because while neutrinos travel trough the heart crust in a straight line, the light is being bent from the gravitational force of our planet, i know this last sentence is a nonsense, because the calculation has been made based on the speed of light in the vacuum and not actually on a beam of light that travel from Cern to Italy, but there is a way to verify this, actually 2 ways:

1) Repeat the experiment releasing both neutrinos and beam of light in a vacuumed straight pipe that from CERN arrive in Italy, i guess they will detect once again the neutrinos first as i explained before.

2) place a neutrinos generator in outer space away from any gravitational pole, together with a laser beam generator and two detectors located one in another place of the outer space ( still away from any gravitational pole ) and the other one here on earth.
The generator must split both the beams of neutrinos and light and address them trough the detector number 1 and number 2, i guess this time the detector number 1 ( in outer space ) will detect light before neutrinos, while detector number 2 will detect neutrinos first as light beam has been disturbed by our planet gravity.

If the same beam of light/neutrinos has been split but detected at arrival in different order from the two detectors, that must be the ultimate proof that neutrinos do not travel faster than light, but is the light that is affected during the travel trough the fabric of space.

Not only that, i think that if was possible to let light travel in some way out from the fabric of space, the value of the speed of light would be higher than (C) and eventually match the speed of neutrinos that has been observed from Italian physicist, i know that's not possible because photons are too big to escape that fabric, but neutrinos are small enough to travel trough this without interact with it,so they can travel faster, and that's the whole point, in physic size does matter...

PS. to moderator: i didn't know i couldn't post my email address, i just wanted to discuss this privately with someone with Physic education background and avoid silly comments from ppl who like to laugh at other ppl, but i guess is better if anyone can read and reply.

Thanks
Mario

32. 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.

33. 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!

34. 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.

35. 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)

36. 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 .................

1. They should have got you in this Doco - could have saved them all the bother and me; wish i had just read your comment instead of watching this!

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

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.

Cheers

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.

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

Thanks for the very interesting documentary!

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

41. 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 :)

42. 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.

43. Night all x

44. yes lightspeed broken again. see the link below:

bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-15791236

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.

1. Forgive my non scienceyness, but what is it called when a particle does something and another partner particle does the same, no matter how far and it knows instantly. Could it be anything to do with that or am I romping off into the wilderness?

2. @50 4 40,

Since I saw your question, it is called "quantum entanglement", what Einstein called spooky action at a distance.

And you are probably romping off into the wilderness.

3. Only probably? Well that's an improvement at least ! :)

4. 50 4 40,

True, because I myself said on this doc I believe quantum E. might have something to do with it, whereas there are not one but two measurement apparatus involved, one at sending and one at receiving, therefore the neutrinos that are millions of times smaller than photons, might jump instantly or Planck second sooner therefore arriving nanoseconds sooner. I do not think they know if neutrinos follow or not follow Q.E.

5. So perhaps the neutrinos they catch might not be the ones they threw. Now i think about it, it sounds daft. I read that If you can affect one of a pair of entangled particles there is no way of knowing how that might affect the other half. Wouldn't it be too much of a coincidence if all the neutrinos they threw just happened to have partners in the right place to be caught, you'd have to think they know what was expected of them !

6. quantum entanglement

7. thanks :)

45. CERN ran the test again. Same result.

46. 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.

47. 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 :)

1. Well, I googled 0 times infinity, it turns out that you can't do it because infinity isn't a natural, rational, real or complex number. The answer is indeterminate, so basicly undefined. So it doesn't actually mean that it would give any result.

Dark matter is a theoretical matter to account for gravity, so there is no reason to believe that light should interact with it.

Let's just wait for the results to come out before making any speculation.

48. Anything at this speed is an awesome discovery.

49. Damn Yi zero times anything is zero.

1. Sorry, I should have posted @PeSO821.

50. 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.

1. dark matter is obnly a fudge factor to help balance the blank check written by the big bang proponents. It doesnt exsist. This site has a great documentary called thunderbolts of the gods. Try it. It's very entertaining to say the least. Cosmology Quest is a 2 part documentary on this subject as well

51. I believe they forgot to take into account some time difference that results from the technology they are using, and that corrected time is the same amount the neutrinos were supposed to have arrived sooner than light, approximately 60 milliseconds.

52. I just have such a hard time listening to and watching something with such a dramatic soundtrack and camera work. It's not as heavy duty as American productions, but it's close.

53. It's hard to take the narrator seriously as he constantly mispronounces "nucleus" as nukulus. Pet peeve of mine... Sure, maybe it shouldn't undermine credibility, but f***!

54. Perhaps the current meter(s) for gauging velocities of infinitesimal masses suspected of travelling past light speed are inadequate, considering the physics would involve unknown and unmapped laws. It's a bit like trying to stream the internet on an old transistor radio. Neutrinos are truly pioneer territory and the old laws won't cut it..x

55. The Unified Field Theory, is not as complicated as is presented.

56. It is in Technology Review , The Physics arXiv Blog, published by MIT. Don't let that scare you, it's pretty easy reading. There are others that can be cited but this one is pretty straight-forward.

57. what was the name of the song that was playing when they first started talking about einstein

58. Maximum Scrutiny....Don't come half-steppin' with Brother Einstien!

59. @lakhotason,

That is the beauty of science.

OPERA findings are not published in peer-review journal, therefore they're unofficial. Once they conduct their experiment using a shorter timed proton beam they plan to publish their results in a peer-review journal, regardless of their findings.

Ronald van Elburg at the University of Groningen in the Netherlands makes a convincing argument: the relativistic motion of the GPS clocks. His argument is the strongest and makes most sense, however his paper is also not published in peer-review journal, which makes it unofficial too.

In the meantime MINOS and T2K, will also attempt to recreate OPERA's results.

Most probably the experiment contains error(s), but science will not let go until maximum scrutiny is applied.

60. Oh certainly more testing is required either way. Yet, my problem is that the CERN scientists over-looked this. I'm no physicist but it seems kind of fundamental to me (once it has been explained!). The Theory of Relativity being that which tripped them up only adds a sort of sweet irony (for Einstein).

61. I considered watching this... but I already knew there was errors in the experiment stated. This is why you shouldn't make a documentary so fast, without the data being repeated and peer reviewed! Media these days...speed over accuracy.

1. @Yi Wen Qian,

...I already knew there was errors in the experiment stated,

No you didn't. You assume that there were errors, like the rest of the scientific community.

Scientists in Italy scrutinized the results of the so-called Opera experiment for nearly six months before making the announcement.

Initial re-testing is in progress, and will deliver serious results in April 2012. Until then, you can't be 100% sure that there were errors, nor anyone else.

Further more the documentary is not stating that neutrinos are/were going faster than the speed of light? It just lays out the case, with some background info about relativity and light, and that without a replication of the experiment the question still stays open.

2. Not to put too fine a point on it but there was a "duh" error from what I understand.

3. @lakhotason,

May I know what was the "duh" error?

In fact there are several possible errors. But even taking them all into account (without re-testing), still few nanoseconds can't be explained.

Therefore re-testing is in progress and it will be completed in April 2012. If there was a "duh" error, why the hell bother doing the experiment again, with extra equipment and lot of fine tuning?

4. The best source would be Technology Review published by MIT. It's quite easy to read. It completely explains the 64 nanoseconds.

As far as doing the experiment again, by all means do it again and do it correctly this time. I would hope that we do find faster than light.

5. Let me back-up here. Replace the word "completely" with "almost exactly".

6. @lakhotason,

Replace the word "completely" with "almost exactly".

Right, I was about to say that... and the documentary also says that.

Those few extra nanoseconds at this moment remain unexplained, thus further testing is in place.

7. @ Vlatko

Sorry Vlako, I shouldn't have used the word error but rather used the word 'inconsistencies'. It disagrees with many previous experiments that was performed and while it may not be errors, I still feel that a documentary about a claim at this scale shouldn't be made until at least April 2012.

Also, the claims about errors are not unfounded. All experiments have a standard error, which is either due to the limitations of the observer or equipment. Such errors must be taken into account and the only way to fix this is to do more experiments. This doesn't mean that the results are false, but rather the interpretation is isn't spot on.

My complaint, is towards to media, because it is actually the 3rd time I have heard the claim 'the speed of light isn't constant' (previous 2 got shot down or unproven... I can't remember cause it was a while ago). At this point, the data set is not complete, it's like you measure one day that your temperature isn't 37 and you claim that human body temperature isn't on average 37. I sincerely feel that a documentary shouldn't act like a tabloid, not before all the data are collected, peer reviewed, and published.

This is just a rant about reading too much cancer cures in news papers with the text at the bottom, this data is yet to be published and I got it to you first!! Not exactly but you get what I mean.

8. @Yi Wen Qian,

I agree, but what I was trying to say is that the documentary is not sensationalist. It just lays out the case, the experiment, possible errors within, what was done so far, what will be done in near future, and some background info about relativity and the light. Nothing more.

9. @ Vlatko,

It's a pet peeves of mine, I would admit. I just feel this documentary could wait 6 months. Just because, if the result is false, it would be a huge embarrassment with in not just the science community, but the public's eyes as well.

10. I don't think it will be an embarrassment. This is the way science works and why it works. The scientists needed to get this information out as to let others examine the results.

Personally I'm skeptical. Something as this falls under the "Extraordinary Claims" rule.

11. @ lakhotason

Yeah, I do agree that's how science works, but usually scientists ask for feedback during the publication process, where the data is scrutinised in the science community first and not released to the public, just in case it is wrong. The public scrutiny usually comes after publication. However I do understand this is unique in that it is very cutting edge science and covers quite broad field of expertise.

I don't think it would tarnish the team's image as much as the media that covered it, but then again the media is use to this. I really have a pet peeves thing against this...

12. I'm with you. It's a pet peeve of mine also. Don't throw garbage in my face. I'm stupid enough to believe it.

13. Actually, In the Feynman Lectures on Quantum Electrodynamics, it is stated that the photons travel with a mean speed of c: the speed of light. However, there are certain photons that travel slower and ones that travel faster, but they pretty much cancel each other out.

14. Well, I haven't heard the lecture by Feynman, so I can't comment, but the mean sounds about right.

15. Also, I understand that they used GPS tracking to calculate the speed of the neutrinos. And because the satellites are in high orbit, it is likely that they did not get the correct calculation. I did not have the time to verify this. If anybody knows anything, please post

16. Scroll down until you see my name at 16 hours ago.

17. @Yi Wen Qian:

I agree when you say all experiments can almost be precise, but the end result always will have an inherent error and can only come to an acceptable mean standard considering all the variables and inconsistencies with the limitations of math and such, especially at the subatomic scale.

18. Yeah but we're talking about the speed of light. I understand the concept of the variables but......we're talking the motherlode here.

19. No, this is very possible because, while light doesn't change it's speed in the current model, the limitations of equipment may give a range of results. The GPS used for tracking is one example where equipment limitations may cause a deviation. This can all be accounted for if the results are analysed correctly, and if there is enough of it.

20. Oh but yes light does change its speed. The speed of light is measured in a vacuum I think.

I'm really interested whether you see the neutrinos as traveling faster than light.

21. Yes, light does travel differently in different mediums, the constant is in vacuum. I'm not saying that it isn't a constant as such, just data variation due to equipment limitations is probable. The mean will still be constant lol.

Neutrinos have never been accurately measured, since it can pass through anything and is mostly undetectable. I can't make a comment about it because the results are not out yet. Even if it does, it might be travelling through a wormhole, so the speed might not change.

22. No YI what do you think? What 'bout them neutrinos?

23. I'm confused, it should travel at the speed of light in a vacuum, but since it interact with little else and tend to pass right through objects, it will travel at that speed in any medium I would think. So in a different medium I think neutrinos will travel faster than photons could. Is that the opinion you are looking for?

24. So you are kinda leaning towards CERN? I'm not.

25. No no lak, I am leaning against CERN lol, I think it can travel as fast as light in a vacuum, but not faster.

Edit: perhaps we should use the 'universal speed limit' rather than the 'speed of light (photons)'.
Aginst... away... what word do I use there?

26. Speed of Light, Universal Speed Limit - same thing.

27. But, but, they are not the same thing >.<

28. You're right.

The speed of light is actually NOT constant at all. It changes depending on what it is traveling through. For instance light traveling through glass(like you wear to correct vision, has a speed of ~124,000 miles per second. It is actually this change in speed that allows glasses to correct vision. If the speed stayed constant then the light would not bend which it must do to refocus. Scientists are also "pretty sure" there are regions of space itself where the speed of light is different for some reason, although I can not remember why exactly.

Also, we can blame the speed at which documentaries are produced and released to the public directly at the feet of the internet itself. If everyone waited months for confirmation before making a documentary about something, then not only would almost no one watch it, they would b*tch and moan about it being "old" news and wonder what took so long. The internet has, more than anything else, turned us as a group, into a must have it now society. While this is beyond great for some things, such as government accountability, it is not so great, I would even say detrimental, when it comes to accurate research, since everyone is busy trying to be first. Since being first to report something that gets the average person seriously excited(if it turns out to be accurate) puts you first in line or more of that coveted grant money.

30. what a prat! in a vacuum c is constant new age world or not. interestingly c isn't concerned with the human world or its interpretations

62. Neutrinos have been there always, and if they in fact do travel faster than the speed of light, good luck to those who deem to harness them.

63. My god, how long ago was it that the announcement was made? This is some speedy doc making if I ever saw it...

1. I know, right? That was Sept when I heard the news...As a consequence, maybe this doc was just a little too much like fast-food, imo. I think too much time was spent on "background" ( Ether, Relativity, etc., which I'm pretty sure we all know about -in layman's terms, at least- fairly well.), and not nearly enough on the implications, or even (potential) applications, should this pan (or have panned) out.

2. @Aidan Skillings.
This experiment will now be run again with important differences which should remove some ambiguities. In the first experiment, the NEUTRINOS emerged, after some complex interactions, from a stream of PROTONS generated at Cern, and travelled through the earth's crust to Gran Sasso in Italy. The protons were fired from Cern in a "long" pulse lasting 10 microseconds (10 millionths of a second). The neutrinos showed up in Italy 60 nanoseconds (60 billionths of a second) earlier than expected. This measurement, however, was not direct, but arrived at statistically by superimposing the NEUTRINO'S arrival times on the PROTON'S departure times over and over, then taking an average. This does not allow for the measurement of an individual neutrino.

In a new experiment being run this month protons will be sent in short bursts of 1-2 nanoseconds separated by "long" intervals of 500 nanoseconds. Every neutrino event at Gran Sasso can then be unambiguously connected to a batch of protons at Cern. Physicist Matt Sassler, of Rutgers University, who originally raised concern about the methodology, describes it as sending isolated clicks instead of a long blast on a horn. In the latter case you must figure out when the horn starts and stops, but in the former case you hear each click and it's over.

The findings of the original experiment were certainly interesting, but I believe many people were far too carried away by the results which appear to still be ambiguous and require further experimentation before we throw out relativity.

EDIT: I have paraphrased much of this for the sake of brevity and hope I have not altered any facts in doing so.

3. Very Interesting. It is written in a simple enough way that most people will get what you are saying....most people included me.
Thank you.
az

4. Or a better thing would be to read where they made a mistake which makes this doc a tad out of date.

5. @lakhotason
>Or a better thing would be to read where they made a mistake which makes this doc a tad out of date.<
I'm sorry, I don't understand exactly what you mean. I have tried to understand the peculiar result, but I don't know where to read anything that that explains the "mistake" that may have been made. There may well be anomalies in the data which could be resolved by running the modified experiment. I'm not aware of the methodology of experiments being run by others in an attempt to replicate the Cern/Sasso run, but hopefully there are different ways to test it.

My math and physics education is insufficient to comment further, but I know enough to know what I don't know.

64. Psych!

65. I thought that "they" had proven this to be a miscalculation of satellite positional time, by not taking into account the distance of the source time to the repeater.

66. Off to bed, sleep well folks x

67. Everything is but a twinkle of a thought in the cosmic mind...We will never uncover the full truth. Every time we answer one question, ten more seem to pop up in its place. It is all evolving so fast we will never be able to figure out all the mystries and that is what keeps it interesting..quantum entanglement alone shows us that information can be in two places at once over a vast distance farther than light could travel in time. so do you all feel that maybe neutrino is the carrier of information? It goes right on through matter and dosent even slow down...Is it changing somehow as it goes throug and then taking or leaving some kind of pattern behind in the matrix of spacetime as it goes or what? its crazy but facinating..P

68. I lived not far from cern for a while, went to see it thinking there would be something wonderful, there was a field.

1. lol loved this comment. I could see this happening to me.

2. You could try but I think they have a visitors centre now, it might not work for you :) I know of other fields you could go to though.

69. Could have sworn I'd heard that they had decided it was a mistake, must have imagined it.

1. No, they found the mistake.

2. Oh. I feel a bit sad for them now. Wonder if they figured out a way to get the cork back in the Champagne :(

70. Perc up a pot of kopi panas for Dr. Mersini-Houghton and put her on the heels of this sh*t. She's as likely as any of 'em to put the screws wherever they need to be put.
And I'm only joking a little bit, and not at all.

1. I myself would serve any kind of potion to Prof Joao Magueijo just to see that smile every day. lol
az

2. Was that the dark-haired hunk? Yeah, I think maybe even some deep, dark, undeveloped part of me wants to have his babies...
(Either that, or run a rake over his face, lol.)

71. This is like the 'arsenic' life forms announcement all over again. How many documentaries will feature this announcement before its proven wrong, I wonder?

72. Ah! maybe went faster than the purported speed of C because of quantum entanglement?

1. Apparently, the neutrinos made a quick jaunt through "Star Trekian subspace," according to some.

2. I feel I'm in familiar territory with star trek science, it's always an anomaly - no one knows what it is, fly through it!

3. Quark-field resonance generator; proton-emitter flux-space capacitor; ion-tube tachyon warp-drive containment...

"Someone throw me that science dictionary! And grab me a bagel while you're at it!"

4. There's one in the replicator, I'll get it once I've ejected the warp core :)

5. I don't think they publish that dictionary fast enough to keep up. Cream cheese and smoked salmon? Nothing like a real Montreal Bagel.
az

6. You said you never much liked Star Trek, right? I was just throwing out a couple of homemade examples of what's called "treknobabble," lol.

73. Thanks Vlatko for putting this up so quickly. I will watch it one tonight.

Neutrinos going faster than light is an extraordinary claim which requires extraordinary evidence and already there are scientists doubting the methods and results. But if they did somehow, could it be that they went through an 'exra dimension' or a wormhole of some sort, which in turn would mean that Einstein's relativity theory still holds true. This is what another LHC scientist had said at that time.

1. That's precisely what this doc suggests in part 4. String Theory "confirmation", at last!?

2. @Pysmythe, yes it could be a confirmation of the String Theory.

But more questions here:

The LHC has come up with more exciting news in the last couple of months. Researchers at Cern have failed to find evidence for supersymmetric particles therefore putting the Supersymmetry theory in a difficult spot. I know there is a lot more work to be done at the LHC (and other labs for that matter) before finally writing off the beautiful Supersymmetry theory but could it also mean the end of Superstring theory by its association to supersymmetry? Could even the M-theory be in jeopardy? I can sense Prof. Lee Smolin secretly smiling somewhere.

Also if the LHC scientists fail to discover the Higgs Boson by next summer, then what modifications will be required in the Standard Model of particle physics? Surely there’s so much at stake in the next few years or even months.

Thoughts anyone?

3. Don't you think, though, that some of the criticism about the failure to find the Higgs yet stems from those who were opposed to the cost of the LHC to begin with? There were enough of them, that's for sure... (And yet there always seems to be enough cash in the coffers to fund some military action, or a war or two.) Obviously, they just need to redefine the parameters of the tests they've run so far, or come up with a completely new experiment. But even if it fails, I don't think they'll be modifying the Standard Model (just because of that) too much any time soon, considering that it works as well as it does.

74. I watched this twice. I really enjoy Docs that focus on current issues.

75. The speed of thought may travel faster than the speed of light. It could be proven that something is thought before one thinks it.
May be nutrinos are infinitesimal physical thoughts floating around the singularity mind which eventually combine with others nutrinos and grow and grow into bigger particles which grow and grow into what one "sees" with the mind.
az

1. Az,

Stop the presses! you should get a hold of Deepak Chopra, only he might know what you are talking about!

Just ribbing you Toots.

Edit, this is my 666th. comment, heavens to betsy!

2. And let Betsy take that sh*t and croak with it.

3. The difference between us Dear Charmer...is that you would never dare write on this thread an idea never published before, or never read somewhere...i don't fear that, why should i? I have no degree of education to protect or defend.
az

4. Dear Az...None of us has ever written on something they have never heard or read or that was published before, whether it be a paragraph or a word, except if you lived as in Plato's "Allegory of the Cave" and just came into the light for the first time.

76. This was good, simple enough even for me to get the idea. Now I see what The Mighty Achem was explaining to me :)

1. Ya, i too am waiting to see what the blue man will write here.
az

2. Me too, he always seems to throw a little spanner in the works, a good one though - one that adds a twist. Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water..... ;) I like your thoughts on the speed of thought .

3. One thing that could go faster than the speed of light would be the speed of darkness, perhaps the thought came to my mind from that darkness.
az

4. Ever read any Terry Pratchett books? Great for long train rides. There was something in one of them about inspiration particles flying around the universe and every now and then one of them will pass through a brain and bingo, a brilliant thought is born! I know he likes to 'borrow' his stories from others but he does it well :)

77. Neutrino Faster Than Light.
A Tachyon Delight,
Or Scientific Blight?

78. I liked the idea of Meme-brain theory...fits well with Nassim Harameins Theory's which i find very interesting...i hope they can replicate this, because then the problems with Einsteins equations might be solved within our lifetimes...anyways, interesting stuff

79. What travel faster the air or an airplane ?
Is not the air already there before an airplane started to fly ?
The Air could be the nutrino of the airplane ?
Maybe the Nutrino does not travel at all it is just there and the light travels using the Nutrino as its media (ether ?) maybe.

80. "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"

The concept of time travel was strengthened by Einstein's theory, and parallel universes is not new.

1. MatarD,

From what I understand, and I don't claim to understand it all entirely, Einstein allows for time travel but only towards the future, if someone travelled at the speed of light. It is my understanding that the speeds greater than light would change that in the sense that even traveling to the past would be possible. That would distort the concept of cause and consequence and that is what I think makes it different from Einstein's view of time travel.

2. WTC7,

Yes, time travel to the future is already proven, even by our GPS system referred to as time dilation, but only from our perspective here on Earth.

My own viewpoint is that time travel to the past is improbable, at least to get in the Earths time that we seem to know in this reality, to many probabilities, the (unobserved) past is not really real, only seems real, but by even thinking about the past we are forming new pasts by the play of probabilities, so there is no real past as we think of it. Re: Hawking:

Furthermore any resting mass cannot achieve the speed of light, if so, will become an infinite mass, a singularity.

3. As you say. I cannot claim to understand how these relationships work. My understanding was not that the speed of light had to do with it as much as the possibility to directly bend space and time, just as he saw light being bent by gravity. Same as the theory of wormholes is derived from this, and if you can travel into to future you can naturally look back at yourself and see the past. Even look back by bending space and time.

81. “All of my investigations seem to point to the conclusion that they are small particles, each carrying so small a charge that we are justified in calling them neutrons. They move with great velocity, exceeding that of light.” – Nikola Tesla, July 10, 1932

1. Nikola Tesla is often mentionned these days...is the world recognizing his mind?
az

2. Tesla was a brilliant mind. However, his research was done in the past and it is difficult to know exactly what he had accomplished or discovered. That is where the myth of Tesla begins. This are the myths that say that since we cannot prove what he discovered it must follow that he did in fact discover it and these innovations are being hidden from us by malevolent agents. In the world of myths "could be" is good enough to pass as truth.

82. It's NUCLEAR!!!!

1. It threatens to go for the jugular of the physics of Einstein.

2. Thanks Irishkev......and it's also 'nucleus'. Where on earth did 'nuckeulus' come from.