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414 comments

Glad they found the error (5, Insightful)

Fluffeh (1273756) | more than 2 years ago | (#39130535)

I am glad they went through the proper process of verifying all the hardware and have gotten to the bottom of this little fiasco - but wow, they have to be biting their lips in frustration.

I also expect a cable manufacturer is likely to be getting a strongly worded email in the near future.

Re:Glad they found the error (5, Funny)

c0lo (1497653) | more than 2 years ago | (#39130639)

I am glad they went through the proper process of verifying all the hardware and have gotten to the bottom of this little fiasco - but wow, they have to be biting their lips in frustration.

Why is this a fiasco? After all they discovered a pretty cheap way for FTL - just use defective cables!

Re:Glad they found the error (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#39130733)

I am glad they went through the proper process of verifying all the hardware and have gotten to the bottom of this little fiasco - but wow, they have to be biting their lips in frustration.

Why is this a fiasco? After all they discovered a pretty cheap way for FTL - just use defective cables!

This model hasn't worked for government, why should it work for Science?

Re:Glad they found the error (5, Funny)

SimonTheSoundMan (1012395) | more than 2 years ago | (#39130821)

I'm sure Denon will have a "faster than light" TOSLINK cable for sale for $1,000+ in no time. Better to get those audio bits before time itself.

Re:Glad they found the error (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#39131073)

I'm sure Denon will have a "faster than light" TOSLINK cable for sale for $1,000+ in no time. Better to get those audio bits before time itself.

And for their next trick they'll work in Super-Sonic Audio, which arrives at the ear before it's transmitted from the audio drivers. Marvelous.

Re:Glad they found the error (5, Funny)

AndrewNeo (979708) | more than 2 years ago | (#39131143)

They're so fast they're already out [amazon.com] !

Monster cable? (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | more than 2 years ago | (#39131157)

Monster cable?

Just wait for the new Monster cable GPS link cable for only $99.99

Re:Glad they found the error (4, Funny)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#39130819)

"I also expect a cable manufacturer is likely to be getting a strongly worded email in the near future."

Not really, Monoprice does not really care if the customer is doing science with their low price cables.

Re:Glad they found the error (5, Informative)

gstrickler (920733) | more than 2 years ago | (#39130831)

The cable transmitted the signal 60ns faster than the time used in their compensation. I wouldn't call that defective.

Either the cable is shorter than they thought, or it's propagation factor is higher than specified, or they simply used the wrong number in their original calculations.

Way too early to blame anything on the cable manufacturer.

Re:Glad they found the error (2)

msheekhah (903443) | more than 2 years ago | (#39130925)

The cable wasn't properly secured. It wasn't defective.

Re:Glad they found the error (2)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#39130939)

The cable transmitted the signal 60ns faster than the time used in their compensation. I wouldn't call that defective.

Either the cable is shorter than they thought, or it's propagation factor is higher than specified, or they simply used the wrong number in their original calculations.

Way too early to blame anything on the cable manufacturer.

What's tuggin away at my trouserleg of concern is: How many other experients, with this cable in place, turned out as expected?

Bit of a poser, that one.

Headline is wrong (5, Insightful)

Omnifarious (11933) | more than 2 years ago | (#39130539)

It should read "Faulty Cable Most Likely To Blame For Superluminal Neutrino Results". They haven't proved anything yet. They just found a problem that's very suggestive and they need to re-run the experiment after fixing/accounting for the problem.

Face it (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39130647)

We will never get off this rock. Interstellar travel is impossible, and always will be.

We will all grow old and die here, and that's it.

Re:Face it (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39130727)

We will never get off this rock. Interstellar travel is impossible, and always will be.

We will all grow old and die here, and that's it.

You must be a real blast at parties.

Re:Face it (5, Funny)

Fluffeh (1273756) | more than 2 years ago | (#39130837)

Hey, leave poor Marvin alone. He has a brain the size of a planet and that makes up for his sometimes less than eager personality!

Re:Face it (3, Insightful)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#39130777)

Exceeding lightspeed is in no way required for interstellar travel. The problems of interstellar travel are, in fact, quite tractable.
We (in the sense of you and me, specifically) will indeed never get off this rock. But our grandchildren might.

Re:Face it (3, Interesting)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 2 years ago | (#39130835)

"We (in the sense of you and me, specifically) will indeed never get off this rock. But our grandchildren might."

My grandfather said those exact words.

I'm betting you are as wrong as he was

Re:Face it (3, Interesting)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | more than 2 years ago | (#39131013)

They're really more like metaphorical grandchildren. Sort of like "the World of Tomorrow"—it's not actually coming within 24 hours, but it will eventually. Now extrapolate that time measurement—the duration between when flying cars were first promised and when they finally appeared and achieved widespread adoption, say. If we assume it takes a minimum of twelve years for someone to go from birth to reproductive functionality (to some this is a little harsh, I know, but that's biology for you; just remember that, to others drinking certain Monsanto-enhanced milk, it's three years excessive) then we need at least twenty-four years to get grandchildren.

So after eight thousand, seven hundred and sixty-six "tomorrows", we'll finally get off this rock.

Given that the amount of time involved in a "tomorrow" is already a hundred years and steadily growing, we will probably be a space-faring civilization within the next million years.

Not bad, when you think about it from a solar heat death perspective.

Re:Face it (1)

gnick (1211984) | more than 2 years ago | (#39131025)

"We (in the sense of you and me, specifically) will indeed never get off this rock. But our grandchildren might."

My grandfather said those exact words.

I'm betting you are as wrong as he was

In the case of your grandfather, depending on when he said that, he was right in line with mass public opinion at the time. And he was mistaken - To the astonishment of many, we did get off this rock. Not very many of us made it off and it was just a couple of quick trips to that little rock that spins around us, but you have to admit it was a giant leap for mankind.

Re:Face it (1)

sneakyimp (1161443) | more than 2 years ago | (#39131055)

"Quite tractable?"

You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
~ Inigo Montoya

Are you out of your mind? Voyager 1, launched in 1977 hasn't even reached the heliopause and it doesn't need to contain any food, water, oxygen, or energy to support a single person. Don't get me wrong, I'm hoping for a breakthrough of some kind. The problem is *not* tractable.

Re:Face it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39131167)

Voyager 1 has a few piddly hydrazine thrusters to steer. Launch from an L5 point, give it some reaction mass for a week or so of hard burn and it'll zip along a lot faster than Voyager ever did ... to nowhere, mind you, so yeah. Space is big. Much better chance of colonizing Mars or a Jovian moon or two.

Re:Face it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39130979)

You're an imbecile. There have been lots of proposed explanations for the "FTL" result, and the GP stated that we should wait for confirmation before declaring this one to be The One. Nowhere did he state that he thinks FTL travel is actually possible, so you have no right to lecture him as though he did.

Re:Headline is wrong (5, Insightful)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#39130669)

It should read "Faulty Cable Most Likely To Blame For Superluminal Neutrino Results". They haven't proved anything yet. They just found a problem that's very suggestive and they need to re-run the experiment after fixing/accounting for the problem.

Part of the Scientific Method* is the ability to repeat your results. When they state "the time discrepancy appears to have vanished" it would seem they are unable to reproduce the prior results.

*This Post Not Approved By Rick Santorum For President or Heartland Institute

Re:Headline is wrong (3, Informative)

ceoyoyo (59147) | more than 2 years ago | (#39130695)

Don't believe everything you read in a summary. They found a loose cable that could have caused the delay. They're checking now. Despite the slashdot headline and summary, nothing has been confirmed.

Re:Headline is wrong (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#39130721)

Don't believe everything you read in a summary. They found a loose cable that could have caused the delay. They're checking now. Despite the slashdot headline and summary, nothing has been confirmed.

There's still hope for my Superluminal Neutrino-powered Spaceship to the hot, steamy planet of Airline Stewardesses?

This is a great day for SCIENCE

Re:Headline is wrong (1)

Penguinshit (591885) | more than 2 years ago | (#39130769)

If you have ever flown Continental Airlines you would rethink your destination...

Re:Headline is wrong (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#39130893)

I have to think about this for a second, but I'd assume the neutrinos had a Very accurately measured speed. So maybe the story isn't that the neutrinos go supraluminal, its that fiber optic cable at CERN has a slightly negative velocity factor...

Now you'd think people have measured the length of fiber with a OTDR before (god knows I have enough time) but maybe there is something weird about CERNs fibre, like they had to wrap the slack somewhere and they had a 10 tesla superconductive magnet laying around of a convenient diameter, so... , and no one has ever OTDRd something that stupid before (although I remember doing some stupid OTDR tricks when I was learning in the 90s)

Re:Headline is wrong (2)

msobkow (48369) | more than 2 years ago | (#39130763)

Don't cling to false hopes when every subsequent test by the same facility and elsewhere has failed to repeat the results.

It was a bad cable.

Period.

No FTL yet.

Re:Headline is wrong (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39130779)

No-one's been able to repeat the result, therefore the first potential explanation that msobkow reads on Slashdot must be the correct one? I think your logic is a little bit questionable.

Re:Headline is wrong (3, Informative)

UnknowingFool (672806) | more than 2 years ago | (#39130883)

He meant the original results showing FTL have not been reproducible by anyone other than the original team. It seems that after fixing the cable, the original team has been unable to reproduce the same results of the original test. Hence, FTL results were most likely due to the cable.

Making it even more important to verify. (3, Insightful)

pavon (30274) | more than 2 years ago | (#39130955)

The results could be wrong, but for another reason. When trouble shooting you usually think of dozens of potential way things could have cause the problem before tracking down the actual root cause. Jumping to conclusions simply gets everyone's hopes up that the mystery has been solved.

It was a bad cable.
Period.

So if you were in charge, you would just stop looking for the root cause which may go on to taint other results at CERN for years to come? Nothing is certain until it has been confirmed.

Re:Headline is wrong (1)

Thiarna (111890) | more than 2 years ago | (#39131185)

When were the subsequent tests? The article says they have yet to retest since finding the problem, and I haven't heard any results from MINOS.

Re:Headline is wrong (2)

Fned (43219) | more than 2 years ago | (#39130783)

When they state "the time discrepancy appears to have vanished" it would seem they are unable to reproduce the prior results.

Who is "they"? I saw no such statement in the article.

After tightening the connection and then measuring the time it takes data to travel the length of the fiber, researchers found that the data arrive 60 nanoseconds earlier than assumed. Since this time is subtracted from the overall time of flight, it appears to explain the early arrival of the neutrinos. New data, however, will be needed to confirm this hypothesis.

Sounds to me like they haven't actually reached the point of trying to reproduce the results yet, they just found a discrepency that very closely matches the apparently aberrant prior results.

Re:Headline is wrong (1)

Grumbleduke (789126) | more than 2 years ago | (#39130973)

Do they really need to re-run the experiment to conclude the cable is to blame? If you measure something with a ruler, find out it's Mmm long, then realise your ruler is out by Nmm, it's quite easy to deduce that the thing is actually (M+/-N)mm long, without needing to re-meausure. Of course, it can be useful to check it with a new ruler, particularly when it's quite an important measurement.

Additionally or alternatively, a 60ns discrepancy in the cable transmission stuff doesn't change their actual measurements/data, all it changes is the calculations based on that data. If they've made the same calculations, using the revised figure, (which, having not rtfa, I'll admit is an assumption) based on the original evidence, and get the "right" result, they don't really need to take a new set of measurements.

Re:Headline is wrong (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39130943)

When they state "the time discrepancy appears to have vanished" it would seem they are unable to reproduce the prior results.

You should try reading the whole article before that before you try to be a pedantic asshole. The word "appears" does not denote an inability to reproduce results. This is what happened:

CERN: "It took me less than 15 minutes to drive my car 60 miles! That's 240 miles per hour on average! When I left it was 6:30pm and when I got to my destination, it was only 6:45pm!"
  Observer: "Oh, it looks like you changed timezones. That means it probably took you an 75 minutes to drive your car 60 miles."
  You: "HUHR HUHR HUHR SOUNDS LIKE YOU HAVE AN UNREPLICABLE RESULT THERE, OBSERVER!"
  Observer & CERN: Um... yeah... ok, so let's try driving the car again, and this time we'll factor in the timezone change!

Re:Headline is wrong (0)

Myopic (18616) | more than 2 years ago | (#39131031)

I disagree. They have found the cause of the error to a sufficient degree as to verify certitude, and they did re-run the experiment. Pedants like you might like to point out that science never, ever proves anything, it merely demonstrates facts such that conclusions are validated beyond reasonable doubt, leaving behind only unreasonable doubt. Some people like to cling to that unreasonable doubt, but the rest of us ignore them. We use the word "prove" as shorthand for "shown to such a degree that only a jergoff would keep arguing about it".

This isn't definite (4, Informative)

JoshuaZ (1134087) | more than 2 years ago | (#39130543)

There's no definite statement from OPERA or CERN yet. Right now this is just a rumor. This also is definitely not the first suggested explanation. Let's wait and see.

OMG, this connection... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39130551)

lags!

Not so fast? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39130557)

Not as fast as me though :P

First post ! (4, Funny)

bugs2squash (1132591) | more than 2 years ago | (#39130563)

By my watch...

Re:First post ! (0)

avirrey (972127) | more than 2 years ago | (#39130667)

Your watch is using the same faulty cable as the CERN experiment.

--
X's and O's for all my foes.

Re:First post ! (2)

Russ1642 (1087959) | more than 2 years ago | (#39130761)

By explaining the joke to everyone you have made it much funnier. Keep up the good work.

Re:First post ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39130903)

Ha! By stating that it's a joke, you've made it even funnier. Thank you.

Re:First post ! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39130937)

By explaining the joke to everyone you have made it much funnier. Keep up the good work.

What joke did he explain?

Check the direction (4, Funny)

Lev13than (581686) | more than 2 years ago | (#39130567)

Did they remember to plug it in with the direction marks [amazon.com] pointing to the computer?

Re:Check the direction (1)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#39130701)

Did they remember to plug it in with the direction marks [amazon.com] pointing to the computer?

Pretty sure they didn't buy their cables from Denon or through Amazon ... which would likely be good enough for us, but when you are building race tracks for atomic particles you generally buy them, out of necessity of the appearance of the project, from the guy who runs the $600 toilet seat store.

Re:Check the direction (1)

LordLimecat (1103839) | more than 2 years ago | (#39130991)

If you would check the actual link, you might note that the same guy appears to sell these cables.

updated joke (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39130575)

A neutrino walks into a bar. The bartender says, "We still don't serve neutrinos here".

Hooray! (1)

DanTheManMS (1039636) | more than 2 years ago | (#39130583)

Science isn't broken after all! Or at least, thousands of experiments are still fundamentally "correct" to the best of our current scientific knowledge.

(note however that they still need to re-do the neutrino test, according to the last sentence of TFA; at the moment they have merely found out that "data" sent over the fiber-optic cable arrives 60ns earlier then assumed)

Re:Hooray! (1)

Hentes (2461350) | more than 2 years ago | (#39130679)

On the other hand, we still can't exceed the speed of light.

Re:Hooray! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39130681)

You must not be much a science lover if you're thinking "Hooray!" The biggest advances have come when a new result challenges the old assumptions.

Re:Hooray! (2)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#39130741)

at the moment they have merely found out that "data" sent over the fiber-optic cable arrives 60ns earlier then assumed

How does that happen? I've worked at fiber using telecom companies since 96 (customer and provider sites) and I've never heard of a loose cable causing 60 ns of constant delay. Random jitter as the connector bounces around? OK yeah. Intermittent loss? OK yeah.

You can trivially make a fiber "60 ns longer" but thats quite a length of extra fiber, not a tiny fraction of an inch.

My guess is someone thought they were purchasing a X yard long fiber cable, but the helpful installers put in a X meter long fiber without telling anyone, and the stereotypical telecom BS about loose connectors is the coverup for the situation. Or the gear is buggy, it stopped being buggy, and all the tech did was tighten the connectors, so "it must have been the connector". Uh huh, yeah, heard that one before.

Re:Hooray! (4, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | more than 2 years ago | (#39130899)

at the moment they have merely found out that "data" sent over the fiber-optic cable arrives 60ns earlier then assumed

How does that happen? I've worked at fiber using telecom companies since 96 (customer and provider sites) and I've never heard of a loose cable causing 60 ns of constant delay. Random jitter as the connector bounces around? OK yeah. Intermittent loss? OK yeah.

You can trivially make a fiber "60 ns longer" but thats quite a length of extra fiber, not a tiny fraction of an inch.

My guess is someone thought they were purchasing a X yard long fiber cable, but the helpful installers put in a X meter long fiber without telling anyone, and the stereotypical telecom BS about loose connectors is the coverup for the situation. Or the gear is buggy, it stopped being buggy, and all the tech did was tighten the connectors, so "it must have been the connector". Uh huh, yeah, heard that one before.

A television repairman is condemned to Hell for his practices of deceiving and overcharging customers. On his orientation tour of the netherworld he is led past people boiling in pits of lava, having their organs pecked out by beasts and others being flayed, over and over. Thus his fear is great as he is taken down a cavern to his own assignment of eternal doom. A demon shows him to a door, which he opens to find leads to a seemingly endless cavern piled high with television sets, DVD players, cable decoders, etc. "You must fix each and every one of them", proclaims the demon. The repairman relaxes and says, "Well, that doesn't seem so bad after all." "Ah," replies the demon, "but every one of them has an intermittent problem."

Re:Hooray! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39130901)

Gear was buggy and stopped being buggy, you know, that one doesn't happen on its own pretty often.

Re:Hooray! (1)

harperska (1376103) | more than 2 years ago | (#39131027)

It happens more often than you'd think. Unfortunately, problems that go away on their own have a habit of also coming back on their own at the worst possible moment. Also, see the TV repairman joke above.

Re:Hooray! (1)

captaindomon (870655) | more than 2 years ago | (#39130915)

The cable was connected between the GPS time device and a computer. It's a secondary cable, not the primary experiment cable. I'm assuming the connection was not working so the computer was not being synchronized correctly and therefore mis-calculating results.

Re:Hooray! (2)

jandoedel (1149947) | more than 2 years ago | (#39130963)

Maybe an impedance mismatch at the end(s) of the cable caused the biggest part of the signal to reflect back and forth a couple of times, over the entire length of the cable?

60ns delay is 18m of cable.
Or 6m of cable in which the signal bounces back and forth once.

ADC GPS
ADC ----- GPS

Re:Hooray! (2)

jandoedel (1149947) | more than 2 years ago | (#39131007)

Maybe an impedance mismatch at the end(s) of the cable caused the biggest part of the signal to reflect back and forth a couple of times, over the entire length of the cable?

60ns delay is 18m of cable.
Or 6m of cable in which the signal bounces back and forth once.

ADC <----- GPS
ADC -----> GPS
ADC <----- GPS

Re:Hooray! (1)

sycodon (149926) | more than 2 years ago | (#39130843)

Science wasn't broken before. In fact, had these results been replicated, it would have been a triumph of science.

Re:Hooray! (1)

Grumbleduke (789126) | more than 2 years ago | (#39131017)

they still need to re-do the neutrino test, according to the last sentence of TFA; at the moment they have merely found out that "data" sent over the fiber-optic cable arrives 60ns earlier then assumed

Why to they need to re-do the test? Isn't the point of this not that their raw data was wrong, but the calculations they did based on that data were wrong? The data should still be fine, they just used a dodgy figure when turning their raw data into a speed calculation.

Kind of like measuring the time it takes someone to run a mile in order to calculate their average speed, getting puzzled as to how fast it was, then realising they only ran a kilometre - the raw time data is still accurate, you just need to use a different value when working out the speed.

Loose cables? (4, Funny)

Hatta (162192) | more than 2 years ago | (#39130591)

Is there any way we can pin this on Julian Assange?

Monster Cables (5, Funny)

j. andrew rogers (774820) | more than 2 years ago | (#39130599)

That's why I use Monster Cables for my neutrino experiments. It increases the roundness of the bass end, creates a punchier mid-range, and makes my neutrinos less superluminal.

Re:Monster Cables (1)

ddd0004 (1984672) | more than 2 years ago | (#39130707)

I hope you didn't use those cables right out of the package. Surely, you had them properly burned them in before you connected them. If not, you're are sacrificing the warmth of your low end.

Re:Monster Cables (-1, Redundant)

Nom du Keyboard (633989) | more than 2 years ago | (#39130749)

That's why I use Monster Cables for my neutrino experiments. It increases the roundness of the bass end, creates a punchier mid-range, and makes my neutrinos less superluminal.

Yes I love how Monster Cables improve my all-digital HDMI connection, while emptying my wallet (hence making it easier to sit comfortably on the couch) in the process. The way those cheaper HDMI cables distorted the color of my flat screen was simply not to be tolerated any longer.

Re:Monster Cables (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39130787)

Ugh, why did I just run out of mod points? You need to be modded down for taking a funny joke and killing it.

Boring (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39130603)

Can't be true, it's such a boring explanation

Man the life rafts. Division by zero imminent. (0, Offtopic)

bmo (77928) | more than 2 years ago | (#39130607)

>Minding my own business and setting up the next neutrino experiment
  >The director of CERN has me on the phone
  >"What is it mein fuhrer?"
  >"SERGIO! EL EXPERIMENT NO WORKO! NO GUSTA! NEUTRINO TOO FAST!"
  >Go to Italy, find that there is spaghetti sauce on the detector, ravioli on the the reflectors, pizza in the mass spectrometer, pepperoncini in the heatsink, wine cooling the magnets, langostini in the computer refrigerant, beans cooking on the laser, and olive oil in the PSU.
  >Fuck it, I'm going to Greece.
  >Go to Greece.
  >Considering marrying a Greek girl
  >Berlusconi is there
  >Talks to me about Greek girls
  >I get really hyped about Greek girls
  >Decide to marry one on the spot
  >Reach for the wedding ring
  >Suddenly, spaghetti spills out of my pocket
  >There's spaghetti on the floor
  >Everybody walk the dinosaur
  >Try to clean it all up
  >I look down
  >There's fur in the spaghetti, leading to the realization that I am a bear

Re:Man the life rafts. Division by zero imminent. (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | more than 2 years ago | (#39130697)

WTF is wrong with you?

Everyone knows pizza isn't Italian.

Stupid ursine...

Re:Man the life rafts. Division by zero imminent. (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#39130809)

>Fuck it, I'm going to Greece.
    >Go to Greece.
    >Considering marrying a Greek girl
    >Berlusconi is there

You missed a golden opportunity for "My big fat greek superluminal experiment" jokes. You know, the one where the groom gets slapped by his future mother in law, then his future cousin in law tricks the groom into telling his mother in law that she has a nice pair of superluminal neutrinos... get it, she slaps him superluminally before he gets tricked?

Re:Man the life rafts. Division by zero imminent. (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 2 years ago | (#39130823)

With the massive economic meltdown, prices on Greek slave girls have never been lower.

300 baud is ok, but they forgot the parity bits! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39130613)

Yeah, 300 baud needs parity bits for the speeds they're working with!

May Be to Blame (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39130621)

The headline should read: "Faulty Cable May Be To Blame". We shouldn't be reporting rumor or even preliminary results as fact.

Best Buy gets the last laugh (1)

Duhfus (960817) | more than 2 years ago | (#39130627)

This is why you should always buy gold-plated Monster cables.

Re:Best Buy gets the last laugh (1)

idontgno (624372) | more than 2 years ago | (#39130997)

Gold-plate? Feh. Superluminal quantum-virgin oxygen-free copper fiber cables with interior rhodium-platinum-plutonium plating. Guaranteed to make your music more pure, rounded, warm, and soul-enhancing than even live performance, and to make all your subatomic particles blast through the lightspeed barrier. As endorsed by Han Solo, the only man in the Republic to have made the entire Kessel run in less than 15 parsecs!

Ragnarok (1)

garthsundem (1702946) | more than 2 years ago | (#39130651)

Oh, is THAT why we haven't yet coalesced into a tiny ball of infinitely dense matter awaiting the next bang! Did you hear they're planning the next faster-than-light experiment for December 21, 2012?

Re:Ragnarok (1)

avirrey (972127) | more than 2 years ago | (#39130857)

Only 303 days until... http://xkcd.com/998/ [xkcd.com]

--
X's and O's for all my foes.

yep.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39130677)

Called it as wrong from the beginning. Relativity has undergone many trials and tribulations, none of which has proven it wrong.

awww.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39130703)

you're no fun anymore..

"and after fixing the correction" (1)

DynamoJoe (879038) | more than 2 years ago | (#39130715)

Really, guys? the N and R are not that close together unless you're using the Dvorak layout or something.

Re:"and after fixing the correction" (1)

Shados (741919) | more than 2 years ago | (#39130797)

hmm? I read it as fixing the system responsible for the correction. Not as fixing the connection (even though in this case, they're the same thing)

[citation needed] (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39130731)

n/t

90% of all problems (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39130765)

Most problems with hardware are from faulty connectors!

I love the 'Faster than light neutrino' story (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39130805)

I love the 'Faster than light neutrino' story. It shows something about how science works... an unconfirmed but sensational result captures our imagination. Though fascinating, it is treated with skepticism by scientists including the group publishing the results. Alternative hypotheses challenging the result are examined, and many discarded.

Eventually the result will be supported by more experiments or found to be incorrect... maybe even the result of a loose cable.

The neutrino story also shows something about how science is reported in much of the press... Unconfirmed but sensational results are presented as true. Preliminary challenges to the result are also reported as true. By the time the story is done, news outlets have misreported a number of contradictory claims as fact. No wonder a significant subset of the population doesn't understand or even believe science.

Re:I love the 'Faster than light neutrino' story (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39130913)

Contrast that with AGW.

Agenda driven theories are combined with political activism and a film is made.

Alternative hypotheses challenging the theories are rejected out of hand and those responsible for them defamed as Deniers.

Eventually more and more scientists doubt the agenda driven and politically protected theories.

By the time the story is done, news outlets have misreported everything challenging the protected theories and blindly supported the AGW movement.

No wonder a significant subset of the population thinks Warmists are charlatans.

Irresponsible use of the press (-1, Flamebait)

Pausanias (681077) | more than 2 years ago | (#39130825)

These scientists were irresponsible in their dealings with their press. Your likelihood of making a technical mistake here or there in a supremely complex experiment is far, far higher than the likelihood of special relativity being wrong. They should have kept it strictly within the community rather than embarrass themselves, and physics, in this manner.

Speaking from experience, you have got to be careful about these things. The press will pick up and magnify your slightest claim that you think Einstein was wrong. Science funding is in a dire situation in this economy. We want excellent, trustworthy science to be publicised so that we can get more funding for basic research. This kind of vain, selfish, publicizing of results you KNOW have got to be wrong is just plain idiocy.

Re:Irresponsible use of the press (2)

Fned (43219) | more than 2 years ago | (#39130907)

It's cute how you think there's some responsible way to inform the press of an anomalous experimental result.

The scientists just did the same thing you'd do if you got some weird result on a browser-based application, and the preliminary obvious steps didn't fix the problem: check to see if everyone else is seeing the same thing on their browsers, so to speak.

It's not their fault if someone in Marketing hears what's going on and writes a company-wide email saying "BROWSERS CAPABLE OF MAGIC!!! Film at eleven!!!"

Re:Irresponsible use of the press (4, Insightful)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#39130993)

With all due respect, nothing personal, but the ideas you expressed are completely wrong. Kids need to learn that science is experimenting and debating and arguing and trying things that mostly don't work but sometimes they do. There is no cabal and smart people sometimes disagree, most importantly they disagree in a civilized manner. And getting excited and theorizing and double checking your work and then triple checking your work and lots of sweat and effort and long hours. Initial results are sometimes wrong. Where do errors come from? And sometimes how you deal with "failure" defines who you are, more than how you deal with "success".

Science is not (or should not be) a scholastic endeavor that we should try to make as boring and authoritarian and slow and uninteresting as possible. If anything try to make it the opposite, at least a little bit.

If this whole story makes one kid think, just a little bit, about physics, that makes it OK. This is the best thing thats happened to physics in years.

If science were as flaky as a reality TV show, then I'd support your position because somewhere in between is the greek ideal. But... there's a long way to go before we have to worry about that.

Re:Irresponsible use of the press (4, Insightful)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | more than 2 years ago | (#39131003)

These scientists were irresponsible in their dealings with their press.

I never saw a single irresposible statement from them. They were very clear that there was likely to be an error in their experiment. The press wasn't irresponsible either. Every article I read was balanced and careful to state that there may be a simple explaination.

They should have kept it strictly within the community ...

Who exactly is "the community"? Scientists are not a priesthood, and the public does not need to be "protected" from scientific debate.

No it wasn't (1)

pavon (30274) | more than 2 years ago | (#39131053)

You tell me, how do you engage the particle physics community without something like this becoming public? The proper way to do science is to get peer review by publishing your results, but there isn't any secret handshake that only physicists know, nor do all physicist take a sacred oath of secrecy. When you publish results to the community, then you are publishing them to everyone who is interested, and that includes the media.

Irresponsible use of press is hyping things to the media without providing details to scientists. They didn't do that, in fact that talked down their results as much as possible. Furthermore, trying to keep it a secret would have just made things worse, as the media would have picked up on rumors and ran that, so you end up with even more misinformation being spread. The smart thing to do is to engage the press at the same time as the details are released to the scientific community in order cut down on the rumor mill, and do as much damage control as necessary. Which is exactly what they did.

Re:Irresponsible use of the press (5, Insightful)

Chuck Chunder (21021) | more than 2 years ago | (#39131069)

These scientists were irresponsible in their dealings with their press.

Bollocks, I am pretty sure it was always explained as an unexpected result, not a new discovery.

They should have kept it strictly within the community

How would they do that?

rather than embarrass themselves, and physics, in this manner.

It is far better for the public to see scientists acting openly, showing their data and asking for help. Science is a process, not a result. Trying to get the public to trust science by hiding things from them is precisely the wrong way to go about it. It is akin to suggesting they should trust the scientist because the scientist is always right rather than because the process of science works.

Cause or Effect (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39130867)

Maybe faster-than-light neutrinos damage cables.

Should have called tech support (2)

silverpig (814884) | more than 2 years ago | (#39130869)

Even the off-shored level1 tech support guy could have figured it out by reading step 2 of his manual.

Was here ever a doubt . . . (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39130873)

that it would be something like this?

Oblig XKCD (4, Insightful)

Kittenman (971447) | more than 2 years ago | (#39130889)

Right on the money ... http://xkcd.com/955/ [xkcd.com]

then what about the god particle? (1)

ozduo (2043408) | more than 2 years ago | (#39130897)

OK neutrino have to follow the law but god particles can travel at any speed they god dam feel like!

XKCD pretty much predicted this (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39130911)

I just love how XKCD pretty much said this was rather bogus right from the start: http://xkcd.com/955/ [xkcd.com]

Re:XKCD pretty much predicted this (3, Informative)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 2 years ago | (#39131067)

Uh many, many people predicted that it would turn out not to be true. An error was considered the most likely explanation from the beginning, even by the publishers.

And much like the XKCD author, everyone who predicted that it wouldn't be true would have been ecstatic to be wrong.

What I find much more amusing is all the people who instantly jumped on the result and assumed it was true and proof of whatever they wanted it to be proof of -- from 'science is all a lie' to 'my replacement for Relativity which The Man has stifled is now proven correct!'

This is why (1)

pizza_milkshake (580452) | more than 2 years ago | (#39130919)

I use a Monster HDMI cable.

Illogical (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39130949)

If a faulty cable is the culprit here, wouldn't any experiment relying on the system using that cable be subjected to similar effects in thier results? They're talking about the cable between the GPS unit and a computer, communicating timing synchronization, resulting in a delay of the 'expected' time by nano-seconds ... Is the neutrino experiment the ONLY one using that part of the system where the blamed faulty cable is?

do the neutrinos travel in a straight line? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#39131155)

Do the neutrinos travel through the mountain in a straight line? (nothing much interacts with them, right?)
But if the cable used to measure light follows the curve of the earth, the distances traveled would be different.
Is that difference accounted for?

please enlighten me.

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