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Relatively Speaking…

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By: Aaron Breunig to physics

Could Einstein be wrong?

Apparently the answer depends on the findings of a group at the Fermilab accelerator complex, near Chicago. Early last week physicists at CERN, the European Center for Nuclear Research, reported that evidence from about 3 years of data and 15,000 calculations shows that the sub-atomic particles called neutrinos can actually travel faster than the speed of light. According to their data the ghost-like neutrinos, which can pass through most matter without being absorbed or otherwise affected, traveled from Geneva, Switzerland 457 miles to Gran Sasso, Italy in 60 nanoseconds less than it would take photons (light particles) to travel the same distance. These baffling results carry some astounding implications that could have a profound effect on a century’s worth of established physics. The Fermilab team is re-examining some old data from an experiment they conducted in 2007 that showed the same phenomenon and are planning to replicate the experiment and (hopefully) results using a more sophisticated GPS system and atomic clock.

As exciting and groundbreaking as this all sounds, it’s very possible that the measurements were off and nothing consequential will come from this frenzy. Or, it could be that an effect already known to physics accounts for the extraordinary results. Perhaps these cunning little neutrinos really are traveling faster than photons. Whatever the case turns out to be I, for one, am ecstatic to be alive at a time where the technology exists to be able to answer these compelling questions. A time when we question everything, especially what we know to be “true”, in a joint effort to understand the universe around us and our role in it. If Einstein was alive today to witness what could very well be the pivotal point in our understanding of physics and the universe, I’m positive that the revolutionary physicist would be enthralled at this conjecture and itching to get back to the drawing board. The great man himself said it best, “A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new”.

For further reading visit:
http://www.wired.com/geekdad/2011/09/neutrinos-and-the-speed-of-light-a-primer-on-the-cern-study/
http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/25/science/25neutrinos.html
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/science/8782895/CERN-scientists-break-the-speed-of-light.html


 

Like a Diamond in the Sky…?

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By: Sara Walter to astronomy

An Artist's Depiction of the Diamond Planet.

 

Australian astronomers have recently discovered a diamond planet in space on Thursday August, 25th. Before it became a diamond planet it was known as a White Dwarf.  The Diamond planet was created (more…)


 

Mysterious Lunar Impact Crater

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By: Sara Walter to astronomy

The image of the "Mysterious Lunar Impact Crater"

There has been an impact site located on the surface of the moon that is said might be the crash site of a long lost 1967 spacecraft. The space craft is called the Lunar Orbiter 2 and was sent into space to take pictures of the moons surface. (more…)


 

Full View of Vesta.

Vesta has been growing extremely popular ever since Dawn’s mission has brought back new photos.  Members of the Dawn team have been studying photos of Vesta ever since the dawn entered it’s orbit, but in a recent press conference there have been new and more detailed photos released of the hefty asteroid.  Because Vesta was found to be older than any other planet (more…)


 

Lab Grown “Meat”?

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By: Sara Walter to biology

It has been predicted that by 2050 the world’s meat consumption will have doubled due to a forever increasing population and that eventually there won’t be enough meat to feed everyone.  Not to worry though, scientists have been working diligently on producing a solution to this problem. Using stem cell research, scientists have been working on growing test- tube meat. (more…)


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Tegon's glowing pawl. Photo Illustration/Seoul National University/Reuters

Tegon is her name and glowing is her game.  Tegon is not the only animal that has been genetically modified to glow; (more…)


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Ceratopsian fossil.

New evidence has been discovered supporting the theory that the cause for the extinction of dinosaurs was due to the catastrophic meteor that struck Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula around 65 million years ago.  A fossil from what is known as a ceratopsian dinosaur (most likely a Triceratops or a Torosaurus) was discovered (more…)


 

The Great Penis Song

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By: Sara Walter to Insects

A water boatman. (Flickr/Myrioram)

A water bug that produces a very loud noise by rubbing its penis and abdomen together has just been discovered during a study by French and Scottish scientists.  Thats correct, this bug has a penis song (more…)


 

Scary Sea Monster!

Sea monster or whale?  In Guangdong, China that is the big question right now. A 55 foot, 4.5 ton carcass has washed up on shore.  By the looks of the rotting carcass (more…)


 

Spongiforma Squarepantsii. Photo by Tom Bruns.

Who lives in a pineapple under the sea… in the remote forest’s of Borneo? Yes it’s true there has been a new genus discovered and named after Nickelodeon’s fun loving character Spongebob Squarepants. Mycologist Dennis E. Desjardin had to convince the editors of the journal Mycologia to name his newly found species Spongiforma Squarepantsii, because they exclaimed the name was, “to frivolous”. Desjardin told them that (more…)


 

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