NEW YORK, October 24, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --
In September 2011 a neutrino beam from a CERN lab in Geneva, Switzerland to the 454 miles remote INFN Gran Sasso lab in Italy seemed to travel 0.0025 percent faster through the Earth than the speed of light in a vacuum. Some hitherto undisputed pillars of classical physics will totter if this experiment turns out to be repeatable. Einstein's theories actually allow the existence of non-detectable particles moving faster than the speed of light. These particles are called tachyons. However, there is no possibility to use such theoretical tachyons as a transport medium for information. Einstein's maximum information speed is strictly limited to the speed of light. The spectacular aspect of such a detectable neutrino beam would be less the discovery that neutrinos may be actually tachyons, but of an information speed beyond the speed of light barrier. As observations of supernova bursts did not register neutrino beams a long time before the arrival of the photons of these cosmic catastrophes, the experiment at CERN requires very critical consideration. Neutrinos from the supernova 1987a were detected by the Kamioka Nucleon Decay Experiment detector in Japan. The neutrinos arrived only about three hours before light from supernova event reached Earth, because of the fact that light is trapped in the supernova for a short time period. This would indicate that neutrinos rather travel at the speed of light. If the CERN results are correct, the neutrinos should have arrived years rather than hours before the supernova's light burst.
There are two quite simple explanations for this seeming experimental contradiction to Einstein's limitation of the speed of light in a vacuum and his postulate that baryonic matter cannot reach this barrier because of their relativistic mass increase and thus the infinite energy that would be needed.
1) If the experiment is not repeatable, there was an as yet unknown error in the evaluation method, as neutrinos hardly interact with matter and, therefore, are extremely difficult to be detected.
2) In case the experiment is repeatable or if neutrinos are travelling exactly at the speed of light, the simplest explanation would be that four-dimensional space-time of a vacuum is not purely a geometrical grid as assumed by Einstein, but a peculiar kind of energetic storage medium that just was not captured with classical physics, so far. The known fact about a medium is that certain particles can actually travel faster than the speed of light through this medium, causing usually light phenomena that are known as Cherenkov radiation. This Cherenkov Effect is comparable to the sonic boom produced by a supersonic plane. If neutrinos travel exactly at the speed of light, or even above this barrier, they could acquire their extremely small mass by a similar effect, explaining why we do not notice a tremendous relativistic mass increase despite their high relative speed, at or very close to speed of light, in contradiction to Einstein's imaginings and equations for baryonic masses.
But what would such a peculiar kind of space-time medium look like? It definitely cannot be the type of ether that was assumed by Lorentz and other scientists during all the years of Einstein's geometrical space-time approach, because the speed of light would consequently not be constant for any observer.
This riddle gets its first feasible solution if Einstein's picture of space-time is enriched with quantum mechanical aspects and additionally with a rotary element of the well-known effect of a relativity of simultaneity of events; a sort of quantum energy foam appears this way in the vacuum of space. Einstein did not consider any quantization of time and of length in his special and general theory of relativity because such a limitation at infinitesimal values was not yet discovered and discussed at that time. Neutrinos where not known either. The very first quantum mechanical aspects entered physics only years later in form of Heisenberg's uncertainty principle and Planck's quantization scale.
Since Einstein's era we know that simultaneous events for an observer in a spaceship along the ship's moving axis will change into sequential events for a remaining observer in case of high relative speed because the speed of light stays constant for both observers and, therefore, causing the so called relativity of simultaneity of events. If we limit now, for example, the distance between two simultaneous light flashes at an infinitesimal small minimum value, a remaining observer would read at a certain speed of the spaceship these simultaneous events as sequential events. This has certainly an energetic impact for the remaining observer because Einstein's space-time grid got this way a kind of energy storage effect along his or her timeline for the second flash. This well-known function of Einstein's special theory of relativity can be drawn in a two-dimensional graph with simultaneous events captured on an x-length axis and sequential events captured on a y-time-axis.
Changing now simultaneous events into sequential events according to the proven and undisputed formulas of relativistic mechanics and considering this simple quantization scheme at the low limits of space distance and time progress generates quantized rotary elements within the overall picture. This leads to an extended space-time structure with relative dark energy and dark matter storage areas and to a feasible explanation for the strange nature and behavior of neutrinos, no matter if they finally move exactly at the speed of light, or closely below, or, completely unexpectedly, even slightly above this level.
Henryk Frystacki, PhD
Member of Russian Academy of Technical Sciences, Moscow
External Board Member of Institute for Gravitation and Cosmos at Penn State University, USA
SOURCE Pennstate University, USA