So did Einstein get it (relatively) wrong?
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Posted 23 September 2011 - 12:46 PM
It is one of the most fundamental pillars of physics – but Einstein's theory of relativity could have some (subatomic) holes in it. If the results hold true, it would be the biggest upset in physics in decades. Scientists at the world's largest physics laboratory say they have recorded subatomic particles, known as neutrinos, travelling faster than the speed of light.
According to Albert Einstein's 1905 theory of special relativity – known by the equation E=mc2 – that feat is impossible.
If the findings are correct, it would force a major rethink of the fundamental laws of nature, including how the universe works. James Gillies, a spokesman for the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, or CERN, said the readings have so astounded researchers that they are asking others to verify them before claiming a discovery.
'The feeling that most people have is this can't be right, this can't be real,' he said. 'They are inviting the broader physics community to look at what they've done and really scrutinize it in great detail, and ideally for someone elsewhere in the world to repeat the measurements.'
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