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Faster than the speed of light… Could scientists be wrong (again)?

The world is a-buzz with the latest news coming from CERN, Switzerland. “What? Particles going faster than light?”

What I like about this is several things:

1. Most of us would be incapable of explaining why this puts into question Einstein’s theory of relativity. There’s this thing about the theory of relativity, which states that no particle can travel faster then light… but what does it really mean?

2. Most of us are excited at the prospect of something so complicated and unintelligible in the first place being called “WRONG”. Of course it’s not “Wrong” per se… it’s just true somewhere else. The same hoo-ha was created when the theory of relativity was shown to be incompatible with Newton’s Physics. It’s not like apples started falling the other way.

3. The scientists are acting the way we romantically wish all scientists would work: they find something weird; they doubt it but they don’t dismiss it; they put their results and calculations out there for all to see, criticise and tell them where they might have gone wrong.

4. In my view, science always corroborate old wives tales… remember when they (finally) scientifically proved that having wet feet might give you a cold? Now, we’ve all moaned about life going faster and faster, and about how hard it is to keep up with changes that appear too fast for us to follow. Now we know why: since Einstein last measured, it seems that particles have been going faster… vindicated!

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