Welcome to the Playpen, our space for ferrety banter and whimsical snippets of things that aren't quite long enough for articles (although they might be) but that caught your eye anyway.
But, yes, my heart bleeds.
This post was brought to you by Ferretbrain Public Information Services, because I wanted folks to know what was going on.
And it was 700 km through rock! For some reason I had it in my head that they had fired neutrinos down a long (albeit not 700 km long) tunnel.
I've tried on several occasions to cultivate a robust understanding of quantum physics, but so far, it eludes me. I know that faster-than-light travel (at least for some things) isn't contradicted by general relativity, but from what little I know as an outsider, there's no actual proof at the moment that it does happen, just speculation.
As you say, it's entirely possible that this observation could be due to a mistake, but I wanted to tease out the implications if it turns out not to be. Again, thanks for the discussion.
I'm not saying it's definitely nothing, just that there is a very, very good chance that somewhere somebody got something very slightly wrong. Measuring things accurate to one part in a million is really quite hard.
Isn't two meters quite a large measurement error? I know it was over a very long distance, but surely the dimensions of that distance were fairly tightly controlled?
So ... how 'bout them faster-than-light neutrinos?
I'm cautiously interested, but think it's important to remember that pretty much all the news coverage has been wrong wrong wrong wrong wrong.
Assuming it's *not* just a systematic error (which it might very well be - these things only arrived six billionths of a second early, and if the team had measured their distances wrong by as little as two meters, that would explain pretty much everything) then this has some profound consequences for high-energy physics, but it *doesn't* disprove relativity (any more than relativity disproves classical mechanics, or the existence of protons disproves the existence of atoms).
There are basically two key things to remember.
Firstly, Special Relativity isn't based on the assumption that nothing travels faster than light speed, it's based on the assumption that the speed of light is the same in all inertial frames of reference. That's a very different thing.
Secondly, the notion that some things could travel faster than light isn't as outside the realms of special relativity as you might think. It's possible, for example, for the phase velocity of a wave to be faster than light, and I seem to recall that some interstellar phenomena appear to propagate faster than light as well.
So, yeah, if it pans out, it's going to lead to some exciting new physics, but it's "exciting" in the sense that neutrino oscillations are exciting (the actual experiment they were doing when they made this discovery is a *really funky* one that might explain why the universe exists).
Every other character in that book? Eh, not so much.
Also, the US-based leftist publication In These Times recently hosted an article by Tiger Beatdown creator Sady Doyle on Naffissatou Diallo's Ugly Choice. Trawling the ITT archives also brings up a couple of other articles by Doyle (available here.)
re: Wuthering Heights
I notice that one of the most prominent suggested videos for that page is the new film version of the TeXt Factor reviled We Need to Talk About Kevin. Thoughts?
(I appreciate this is probably not a totally accurate depiction of her life)
@Arthur: trouble is, they're not believable enough characters to work for me as either.
Well, behold! And despair! For this is the game that he wrought.
The name itself (in the URL) bodes...