Oct 302011

I’ve been skeptical about the validity of the OPERA faster-than-light neutrino result, but I’ve been equally skeptical about some of the naive attempts to explain it. Case in question: in recent days, a supposed explanation (updated here) has been widely reported in the popular press, and it had to do with a basic omission concerning the relativistic motion of GPS satellites. An omission that almost certainly did not take place… after all, experimentalists aren’t idiots. (That said, they may have missed a subtle statistical effect, such as a small difference in beam composition between the leading and trailing edges of a pulse. In any case, the neutrino spectrum should have been altered by Cherenkov-type radiation through neutral current weak interactions.)

 Posted by at 1:12 pm