Recently, scientists at the CERN labratory stumbled upon something so simply remarkable that they had to test, double check, and retest themselves. When they realized it was happening, they opened up their findings to the world:
Researchers were sending Neutrinos - sub-atomic particles - on a 730+km ride from Geneva to the Gran Sasso underground laboratory in Italy. They noticed that the neutrinos were arriving ahead of schedule. It was only fractions of a second, but this is the world of physics! Every nano-second counts. This is Einstein's world - Albert Einstein - who theorized over 100 years ago that nothing could travel faster than light in a vacuum: a speed of 186,282 miles per second.
The implications are overwhelming, even to those of us who are not physicists, or those who had to double check to see if I spelled physicist properly. Einstein won the Nobel Prize for his contributions to the field of physics, though not for his Theory of Relativity. However, that is how we know him. All of us know him. We call smart kids "Einsteins." There is a kids cartoon called "Little Einsteins." He has, in American culture, been cannonized. And its possible that he is wrong!
Ain't science great? Over 100 years of a theory, used as the basis for physicists all around the world, and - by chance! - a subatomic particle on its way to Italy can possibly prove him wrong. Possibly, because the scientific community is going to be studying this data for a long time. There will be experimentation, there will be arguments, there will be calls for more studies and more experimentation, and, certainly, many more arguments. Jenny Thomas of University College London, stated:.
The impact of this measurement, were it to be correct, would be huge. In fact it would overturn everything we thought we understood about relativity and the speed of light...
If one Albert can be wrong, why not two? For years now, former US Vice President Al Gore has been pushing the thesis of anthroprogenic (man-made) global warning. He has made movies about his thesis - An Inconvenient Truth. It won an Oscar. His thoughts on global warming have won him a Nobel Prize (for Peace, not science.)
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