[LINK] Faster-than-light neutrino result maybe caused by a loose cable

Roger Clarke Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au
Thu Feb 23 21:30:11 AEDT 2012

All models are not the system that they model.

Original: 'a model is a simplified representation of some part of reality'

All results are provisional.

At sub-atomic level, all models asymptote to Alice-in-Wonderland.

Oh, by the way, we'll need a few more mega-millions to:
-   repeat the experiment
-   repeat the experiment in different locations
-   go back and do the experiment we meant to do in the first place

But we're 'high science', and you'll pay.

All scientists have something loose, and only sometimes is it a cable.

And it's almost Friday.

At 20:59 +1100 23/2/12, Kim Holburn wrote:
>>  Faster-than-light neutrino result reportedly a mistake caused by loose cable
>>  By John Timmer
>>  Since September, scientists have been scratching their head over 
>>results that appear to show neutrinos traveling between Switzerland 
>>and Italy faster than light would. As far as anyone could tell, the 
>>team behind the results had done everything they could to eliminate 
>>errors, and had even released some preliminary data that had 
>>strengthened their results. But the results remained difficult to 
>>square with everything else we know about how the Universe operates.
>>  But now, ScienceInsider is reporting that there was a good reason 
>>the measurements and reality weren't lining up: a loose fiber optic 
>>cable was causing one of the atomic clocks used to time the 
>>neutrinos' flight to produce spurious results. If the report is 
>>confirmed (right now, there's only one source), then it provides a 
>>simple explanation for the fascinating-yet-difficult-to-accept 
>>results. According to the new report, researchers are preparing to 
>>gather new data with the clocks properly hooked into computers, 
>>which should definitively indicate whether the loose connection was 
>>at fault.
>>  It's somewhat ironic that ScienceInsider, which is part of the 
>>American Association for the Advancement of Science, broke the news 
>>now. Over the weekend, the AAAS held its annual meeting, which 
>>included a discussion of the biggest news in physics, where the 
>>neutrino results were highlighted. The session indicated that five 
>>different neutrino experiments were upgrading their hardware in 
>>order to check timing, and some would have data before the year is 
>>out. So even if this report doesn't pan out, we should know more 
>>  At the AAAS meeting's discussion, CERN's director of research, 
>>Sergio Bertolucci, placed his bet on what the results would be: "I 
>>have difficulty to believe it, because nothing in Italy arrives 
>>ahead of time."
>Kim Holburn
>IT Network & Security Consultant
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Roger Clarke                                 http://www.rogerclarke.com/

Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd      78 Sidaway St, Chapman ACT 2611 AUSTRALIA
                    Tel: +61 2 6288 1472, and 6288 6916
mailto:Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au                http://www.xamax.com.au/

Visiting Professor in the Faculty of Law               University of NSW
Visiting Professor in Computer Science    Australian National University

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