Faster than light neutrinos

My brother Andy asked me what I thought of the news that the faster-than-light neutrino result had been confirmed. Like pretty much all physicists, I was very skeptical of the original result, and I’m still skeptical. Here’s what I told him:

This is a confirmation by the same group, using essentially the same technique. They’ve improved the setup in one way that should eliminate one possible source of error (specifically, they made the neutrino pulses narrower, which makes it easier to compare arrival and departure times). That is an improvement, but that wasn’t the only possible source of error, and in fact I never thought it was the most likely one. I’m still waiting for confirmation by an independent group.

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Ted Bunn

I am chair of the physics department at the University of Richmond. In addition to teaching a variety of undergraduate physics courses, I work on a variety of research projects in cosmology, the study of the origin, structure, and evolution of the Universe. University of Richmond undergraduates are involved in all aspects of this research. If you want to know more about my research, ask me!