Tag Archives: astrophysics

22nd Sept – Neutrinos, eyyy?

So, it was announced yesterday that CERN have found evidence of particles travelling faster than light*, and everybody is going mental about it. On the one hand there is huge skepticism for the findings including speculation about the sensitivity of the instruments and the accuracy of their placing. These could easily be the cause of the discrepancy. On the other hand are those who proclaim doom (usually from the treetops or from behind a big wooden board) that the findings will destroy the standard model of physics and we’ll be *wail* plunged into the dark ages. Right, of course.

Firstly, even if the findings are corroborated they still conflict with plenty of other observations, particularly observations of neutrinos leaving supernova and arriving at the same time as photons**.

So, two explanations fit well with Einstein’s theory of relativity*** as well as current quantum theories as far as I can ascertain. I must admit I am not an expert here, would love some physicists to come along and give their views. The first is that the neutrinos went through a wormhole. This would be very worrying and of course, almost certainly not true. Still, did the LHC make microscopic black holes after all? (of course not!)

The other explanation is roughly as outlandish. If gravity is a force that exists mostly in a different dimension than we do, which would explain why it is so weak compared to the weak force and electromagnetism, then neutrinos are fair game to mostly exist in another. They are very light and interact with almost nothing. They are known as “ghost” particles. Might it not be the case that they spent part of their travelling time in a dimension in which velocity is the same but gravity and/or time operate slightly differently?

This leads me to my next outlandish suggestion. What if… Dimensions are a spectrum like light. We can only pick up the dimensions we are aware of because our material exists mostly in the dimensions we perceive but a little in the dimension gravity is stronger in and it may be possible for us to build something that perceives that dimension that corresponds with infra-red light.

That would be pretty cool. As always, comments and criticism always welcome.


** http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/badastronomy/2011/09/22/faster-than-light-travel-discovered-slow-down-folks/

*** http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theory_of_relativity

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