September 24, 2011

Autumn Equinox

Lord, it is time. The summer was very big. 
Lay thy shadow on the sundials, and on the meadows let the winds go loose. Command the last fruits that they shall be full; give them another two more southerly days, press   them on to fulfillment and drive the last sweetness into the heavenly wine.

~ Rainer Maria Rilke

Beyond Einstein

CERN's Dario Auterio
“Nothing can go faster than the speed of light.” That’s one of the very pillars of physics and Einstein’s theory of relativity (and one of the few things I can remember of my science studies in high school). But that’s what seems to have been rocked by new findings from the world’s largest physics lab, the CERN of Geneva, which stunned the world of science by announcing they had observed tiny particles known as neutrinos travelling slightly faster than light (see here and here).

Researchers themselves were so astonished by their findings that they spent months checking their data, without finding any errors that would disprove their claim, and cautiously invited the world to prove them wrong. Yet, presenting the findings to a packed and clearly skeptical auditorium at CERN on Friday, Italian scientist Dario Auterio said they were of “high statistical accuracy” and could not be explained by extraneous effects such as seismic tremors or moon phases.