The MeV corresponds to ~10^-26 seconds, a 100 million part of an atto-second, that is, if a real electron is clading the value of energy by being misidentified or some state-of-the-science measurement artefact, in that case our Nano-second range GPS clocks would be no good. The neutrino and photons would be ticking at far below our capability and we would lose them. But no, Glashow is asking for a concession of the GeV level, which is 10^20 part of the present sensitivity, a few nanoseconds. SO his hypothesized bremstrahllung pair are actually a pair of virtual electrons, they can not escape with the energy, they take this energy and merge-back with the neutrino again so that the neutrino actually goes to the target.
plenty of “new” Physics in this article
The time-energy uncertainty relation is a blessing in disguise which comes in handy to check various values that are quoted, so as to see if something is inconsistent or not. It’s very powerful in guiding to check if we are ourselves making something silly or not.
I have described in two recent articles — will link later, why.
1. One must be careful what energy and what time one is relating to, one just does not take any time and any energy and make a relation, in-fact one can see who is a good physicist from one who is a novice, by seeing how this relation is used by him.
This was joked by Landau: I can measure the energy and then look at my watch, time is just a parameter. But Einstein and Niels Bohr argued “during a very short time interval one must be careful what energy is allowed and what is not, there is a constraint on the windows of errors or uncertainties”.
2. Life-times are arbitrary variables as are energies, their means are not necessarily linked inversely as in case of the uncertainty relation itself, the latter gives a relation between the error-window which are linked inversely.
So watch out how much inconsistent description is given in an average article eg in Wikipedia and even in our text-books. These are training the future physicists very wrongly. One needs experience of solving good problems, one is to work in experiments of highest standard and understand them.
Following are the serious physics based remarks, analysis or studies I have made so far on OPERA collaboration’s experimental result or ones that can be read in this context. This measurement has surpassed in my opinion all bounds of doubt and uncertainty. What remains is an anomaly, in this article I will give some suggestions on how anomalies if any can be addressed and make other pertinent remarks.
Before that here are the serious articles on OPERA so far — only 1 humor based article is on OPERA with popular musical analogies, I will mention it just for the heck of it and presume it does not take any one away from scientific context, but then serious and good quality experiments aren’t necessarily understood by serious physicists who keep on making vague comments which is more of a danger toward science than just humor:
[in order of chronology, into past]
Article 1: The time energy uncertainty relation.
Article 2: Further OPERA of a comprehensible universe — the current blog you are reading.
Article 3: The sociology of skepticism.
Article 4: Why scientists think photon is mass-less.
Article 5: What do we know about photon ? (Light).
Article 6: Why the neutrino and photon break-up? — You may avoid this it’s just humor.
Article 7: Fundamental things you should know about the neutrinos.
Article 8: Just a few implications of the OPERA neutrino result.
Article 9: The OPERA neutrino results.
Article 10: Is a photon always moving at the speed-of-light? (current title: What are photons) — This one is before I knew anything called OPERA experiment exists, although written less than two weeks ago.
Article 11: Why nothing moves faster than light? — on my main blog site, written April this year.
Now back to this article:
1. How to address the issue if this result is an anomaly — a correctly measured anomaly at that). Instead of depending on another experiment the OPERA can simply divide it’s ~16000 neutrinos into 16 groups of 1000 neutrinos each, — or is it 15000, does not matter as far as the idea goes.
If a systematic glitch is present it will only show up in 1 or more than 1 group. If you think it is present in all 16 groups you are saying it will be present in 16 million neutrinos as well, hence neutrinos bought a glitch from Walmart so that photons can not pace beyond the neutrino.
It’s like neutrinos taking drugs to pace beyond photons, but they are allowed to do that. Why is photon such a lazy guy, he can buy his favorite bike, who stopped him before the Olympics? The conditions of the experiment are equally affecting both neutrino and photon baseline, a feature only good experimentalists understand why the systematic error issue of GPS clock etc is a meaningless diversion from the real issue.
2. The experimentalist in me says: the OPERA experimental measurement is correct. The systematic errors are in control, — finding more systematic error is your problem, the statistics is in control — finding more statistics is your problem, the mean value is sharp and completely out of the bound of the errors, — you can quote the mean as a precise result.
Just a few general remarks:
From a view point of science in general and scientific skepticism in particular skepticism of sociology is arsenic.
arsenic: too outsmarting without consistency.
In sociology contest you can shut down a laptop by smashing it on a stone. In a scientific contest this is not a way to shut-down the laptop. It is taken into account but it is not how science proceeds even on a yearly basis.
Bruce: “are you sure he barged into your room and destroyed any evidence in his favor so neutrino actually gained 60 nano-seconds?”
Andrew: “yes he came at a Planck window-hole, he had energy of a Planck-hulk and he left a signature which weighs a few micro-grams, I called in the Goldsmith and he weighed it, turns out if we employ the hulk he can barge into clouds and rain the whole town”.
In sociology: “see did we not tell you scientists were seriously thinking of a way out of the neutrino-issue, finally, no-one can win over the Albert Hummestein, he is a human-aurora”.
In science(skepticism-fiction): “we have discovered something for real, neutrinos indeed break the speed, someone worked out the straight path of photon and neutrino and turns out neutrinos had it in them to break a feat”