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Faster-than-light findings questioned

The results of an experiment which threw into question the fundamental principles of modern physics may have been produced by a technical flaw.

This content was published on February 23, 2012 - 08:25
swissinfo.ch and agencies

Researchers at the Cern physics research centre just outside Geneva announced in September that they appeared to have discovered neutrinos travelling faster than light – an impossibility in Einstein’s theories which govern current understanding of the laws of physics.

But a Cern spokesman said on Wednesday that a bad connection had been discovered between the GPS system and the computer used in the experiment, and that this could account for the astonishing findings.

He said further measurements will be taken later this year to determine whether this was the case.

In the experiment, neutrinos beamed from Cern through water, rock and air to an underground research laboratory in Italy 730 kilometres away were measured as arriving 60 billionths of a second before they should have.

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