Icarus Test Confirms Neutrinos Don't Travel Faster Than Light

CERN re-conducted the experiment that had previously reported to have observed neutrinos traveling faster than the speed of light. The original experiment has been a source of controversy and was ultimately determined to have likely been caused by a faulty cable leading researchers to believe neutrinos had traveled faster than light. CERN conducted a similar experiment dubbed Icarus that was conducted at the Italian Grande Sasso laboratory.

Icarus timed the speed of neutrinos traveling from CERN to Gran Sasso using the same short pulsed beam from that controversial experiment last September. The experiment report said that the new measurement "is at odds with the initial measurement reported by OPERA last September." In other words, the Icarus experiment did not observe neutrinos moving faster than light.

Neutrinos have recently been the source of other experiments as well. Last week researchers reported they were testing neutrinos for the ability to transmit messages through solid rock. Neutrinos are particles with very little mass that have a neutral electric charge. That makes the particles not subject a magnetic attraction and therefore not significantly altered by gravity as they move through solids or liquids.

"The evidence is beginning to point towards the OPERA result being an artefact of the measurement," said CERN Research Director Sergio Bertolucci, in a press release, adding that "it's important to be rigorous, and the Gran Sasso experiments, BOREXINO, ICARUS, LVD and OPERA will be making new measurements with pulsed beams from CERN in May to give us the final verdict."

"Whatever the result, the OPERA experiment has behaved with perfect scientific integrity in opening their measurement to broad scrutiny, and inviting independent measurements. This is how science works," Mr. Bertolucci professed.

[via The State Column]