Neutrinos in Italy break light speed limit

An Italian autostradaThe BBC, amongst many others, reports that neutrinos, sub-atomic particles, have been found to travel across Italy faster than the speed of light. At least, they break that ultimate speed limit for part of their journey from CERN, across corners of Switzerland and France and along half the length of Italy, to Gran Sasso, a large mountain to the east of Rome. I’m sure that in precise Switzerland they wouldn’t dare to break a speed limit. But in Italy, as I have discovered from experience, no one takes any notice of speed limits. So I reckon that in Italy the neutrinos have learned, as I have, to drive like Italians!

Not that it saves them much time. Speeding usually doesn’t. According to the Reuters version of the story, they reach their destination just 60 nanoseconds sooner than expected. Was it worth it? Well, in those 60 billionths of a second my computer can perform 136 operations, not completely negligible. But then most men who drive too fast do it not so much to save time as to show off their manliness. Don’t ask me why women drive too fast, as my answer may offend! Neutrinos, as their name suggests, are neutral or neuter or something, so I have no idea why they would want to travel faster than light.

For some alternative thoughts on what these neutrinos are up to, see Archdruid Eileen’s thoughts Faster than a speeding neutrino, and my comment on them.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

To prove you're a person (not a spam script), type the security word shown in the picture. Click on the picture to hear an audio file of the word.
Anti-spam image