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The Surefire Way To Never Find Anything New In Science (Synopsis)

4 Jan 2017, 16:56 UTC
The Surefire Way To Never Find Anything New In Science (Synopsis)
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

“I have difficulty to believe it, because nothing in Italy arrives ahead of time.”
–Sergio Bertolucci, research director at CERN, on faster-than-light neutrinos
A little over five years ago, the OPERA collaboration announced an astounding result: that neutrinos sent through more than 700km of rock arrived at their destination 60.7 nanoseconds faster than they ought to. That was particularly disturbing, because the speed they ought to have arrived at was the speed of light, which nothing can move faster than. Either something very, very funny was going on with the experiment, or they had just broken the laws of physics.
The various constraints on departures of neutrino speed from the speed of light from various experiments. All experiments display upper limits, except for OPERA’s spurious positive detection. Image credit: M. Strassler (2011), modified by E. Siegel to include ICARUS and refute the initial OPERA claim.
OPERA, quite famously, turned out to be wrong. The culprit turned out to be nothing more than a loose cable. A lot of people jumped on OPERA for publishing and publicizing a false result, but that completely misstates and misinterprets how science works, and ought to work. Rather than forcing your experimental results to agree ...

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