Neutrinos not faster than light?

IceCube Observatory

An international team of professionals challenged the theory of relativity and urged other scientists from all over the world to have a look at their research. In one such experiment, scientists from the Ohio State University have closely examined if certain particles called neutrinos travel faster than light.

In the trial, the neutrinos were timed as they traveled through Earth while covering about 730km to Gran Sasso. The team believed that if these particles moved at the speed of light, they would have reached about 60 nanoseconds faster than the time they took.

For creating the neutrinos, the team hit fast-moving protons on a still target while producing tons of pions in the process. The latter supposedly decayed into a number of muons and neutrinos. While the muons ceased to move towards the end, the neutrinos surpassed the blocks and paced in the direction of the Gran Sasso laboratory.

The scientists are of the opinion that if the neutrinos coming out via the process of pion decay were faster than the speed of light, the pion life span would have been extended too. Also, in this case the neutrino would carry some amount of energy present in the muon.

“We are saying that, given physics as we know it today, it should be hard to produce any neutrinos with superluminal velocities, and Cohen and Glashow are saying that even if you did, they’d quickly radiate away their energy and slow down,” commented Ramanath Cowsik, PhD, professor of physics in Arts & Sciences and director of the McDonnell Center for the Space Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis.

Moreover, the complexities could rise if the energy of the pion increases. As per the findings of the neutrino observatory called IceCube, high-energy pions apparently decayed into neutrinos approaching the speed of light, but did not manage to surpass it.

The report is published in the journal, Physical Review Letters.

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