The Power of Theory

I couldn’t resist. No offense intended :)

38 Responses to The Power of Theory

  1. Dilaton says:

    Darn Phil, this just made me blow my coffee through my nose LOL :-D

  2. So, I think I might understand this picture as representing the power of mathematical reasoning to support an Oedipal rebellion against the bishops et al, who require submission to the authority of the patriachs.

  3. This is the HAND of GOD!

  4. Dr Gibbs

    after the failure of the OPERA only you to make me smile

    Excellent ..this is an icon

  5. Soap_Bubbles says:

    Could the master be proven wrong after all?

    I have a hunch that the neutrino did go superliminal and the speed ratios of the neutrinos to light is approx. equal to the ratio of the neutrino energy density to the light photon energy density.

    Could this be verified or am i just whistling dixie?

  6. Carrie S says:

    :)

  7. The Power Of a Theory..

    the name is well appropriated to demonstrate how bureaucratic science may be……CERN forgot to connect a cable and suddenly the subluminal neutrino becames superluminal

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faster-than-light_neutrino_anomaly

    from Wiki

    ——————————————————————–
    The OPERA collaboration has more recently confirmed two possible sources of errors that could significantly affect the reported result. One is a crystal oscillator timestamping events.[5] The other is a fiber connection error, which is more the focus of attention as it could wash out the faster-than-light effect.[6] Another experimental run is planned after the CERN beam is switched on again in March 2012.
    ——————————————————————-

    a fiber optic cable bad connected placed an end on 200 scientific works about the Superluminality of the neutrino

    the scientists that favored the superluminality of the neutrino are perhaps making the gesture depicted in “A Power Of A Theory”

  8. Suddenly all writers regard the situation concerning neutrinos as completely settled, which it of course is not. This kind of crowd behaviors seem to repeat itself.

    For a more balanced view based on facts rather than beliefs, wishes, or childish fears that Einstein is somehow in threat and we must defined him, see the posting in Matt Strassler’s blog:

    http://profmattstrassler.com/2012/02/24/finally-an-opera-plot-that-makes-some-sense/

    To my opinion popular science journalists with bloggers included have full reason to look at mirror.

    • Philip Gibbs says:

      It is specious to describe the situation as “unsettled”. The current situation is now as it was before we heard anything from OPERA. That is to say that the SN1987a observation provides very good evidence to confirm that neutrinos conform to the laws of relativity by not travelling faster than light within limits stronger than OPERA will be able to measure.

      Nobody has “childish fears” that relativity is threatened, quite the opposite is the case. Every theorist who I heard comment said they would love to see something like this that contradicted present understanding. The scariest thing is seeing the standard models confirmed at every attempt to see past them.

      • Paul Hoiland says:

        I think that is the crux behind what a lot of us see. In general, there are known problem with the SM. We suspect there is some sort of at the very least extension to it or perhaps as some hope a complete new perspective. But in general, while the theories abound no one really has a solid clue which leaves us with at the present pure theory. The problem is even theory like Special Relativity required varification which at the present some of the best theories out there tend to lack: ie String theory, supersymmetry, etc.

      • Paul Hoiland says:

        For Fernando:

        If you look at http://arxiv.org/pdf/1203.4801.pdf there is a simularity in a
        warp field and those of a wormhole. In the frontal portion of a wormhole and a Warp
        drive you have a sort of singularity. If you look at the angle of reflections
        in this article you will notice incoming paths diverge from center point due to
        that singularity. Even if you accepted Natario’s idea on the whole blue shift
        issue, none of those will hit the craft if it is dead behind that reflective
        point. In essence, a warp field provides its own shield to forward incoming
        objects. Now, what effect those objects or photons have on the warp field is
        anyone’s guess. But in reality the craft never sees them directly or
        experiences them. The problem is not about their effect on the Craft at all.
        It is about their effect on the field. You also do have a problem with direct
        visual navigation thanks to that same effect. Question is can that reflective
        point be engineered to let the visual aspect though so you can navigate?

        Could one modify the Craft’s position and allow some information to intercept the craft to allow real navigation is what I am asking you Fernando? By Warp drive I am using the generic term here. All the forms have the same general effect on space-time.

  9. Soap_Bubbles says:

    If space can be curved why can’t time become nonlinear at varying energy densities?

    • Philip Gibbs says:

      It depends what you mean by “time becomes nonlinear”. Equations can be non-linear but what does it mean to say that any quantity is non-linear, especially in the case of a relative quantity such as time?

      • Soap_Bubbles says:

        I am saying the time of the neutrinos was slower than the clocks on Earth. Maybe the higher energy density of the neutrino beam slowed down it’s time. So the ratio of the velocities of the neutrinos to c would be approx equal to the ratio of the neutrino energy density to the photon energy density.

        I wonder if that is equivalent to the 60 ns shift?

        Maybe the master was wrong and time in different reference frames are different under different energy densities conditions. Causality need no be violated if the space around the neutrinos would warped.

      • Paul Hoiland says:

        Yea, Nature abounds with non-linear aspects. But at the present when it comes to time there seems to be a natural process of selection that enforces linearity. There are some of us who tend towards the VSL type ideas. However, even in that camp we still tend to hold that over time even if C does vary the implications of SR still hold irrespective of one point in times value of C versus another. So even there time is still linear and chronology is protected.

  10. actually i would like to agree with Pittkanen comment since i have two works about the superluminality of the neutrino here in viXra and also published elsewhere

    i was counting on OPERA because a massive particle FTL would open the way to micro wormholes or micro warp drives or tunnels into extra dimensions from an experimental fashion not only a theoretical construction of mathematical physics.

    i was counting on OPERA as a turning point

    see the acknowledgements section of viXra:1111.0012 where i mention all the 173 OPERA scientists and OPERA as a turning point..i also made a special mention to the OPERA chief scientists.

    but unfortunately i think that in May the “cable guy” will not appear to raise the neutrino to superluminal again.

    my turning point will come one day but not for now…..

    a cable is a cable and not even CERN can deal with a disconnected cable

    again due to a cable disconnected in CERN we have “The Power Of a Theory”

  11. exp^137 says:

    What about if they enough precisely determine subluminal speed of neutrinos. Can this give new limit for rest mass of neutrino?

    • Philip Gibbs says:

      In principle yes, but if we take the SN1978a observation as valid then the size of the time delay they are looking for is much smaller than what they can measure. Of course it is always worth making more measurements like this just in case there is something odd going on. We just shouldn’t expect it.

  12. agreed

    the SN1987a neutrino was subluminal…..with a non-zero rest-mass

    all this fuss about OPERA started because they compared the results of both OPERA and SN1987a neutrinos not to mention ICARUS(another experiment with neutrinos at CERN LNGS) and they suspected OPERA was wrong

    unfortunately they were right….OPERA????never happened!!!

    OPERA is perhaps the best example about how institutional or bureaucratic science becomes

    iimagine that me or you or any other reader of this blog have raised the question of the FTL neutrino….what would happen????

    nobody would believe..nobody would give credit

    but CERN with the huge number of post-doctorates or Nobel-Prize winners forgot to connect a cable and 200 works on the superluminality of the neutrino appeared….from tachyonic Lagrangians and quantum tunneling or quantum entanglement to micro wormholes or micro warp drives or portals to extra dimensions…this illustrates “The Power Of a Theory”

    people think Nobel-Prize winners dont make mistakes.!!!..wrong!!!they do and unfortunately they do often

    some Nobel-Prize winners shoukd remember(or even learn) the basic things…..how to connect a fiber optic cable

    again the bureaucracy of science and again “The Power Of a Theory”..this image is excellent

    an Image worths more than 1000 words(Chinese philosopher Confucius)

    • Philip Gibbs says:

      I agree that Nobel prize winners and other great minds can be as mistaken as anyone and sometimes get too much attention for their opinions. However, there were no Nobel prize winners championing the OPERA result and the OPERA collaboration themselves were always cautious about their results. This is because they always appreciated the power of theory and knew that such extraordinary claims had to be independently verified.

      The power of experiment is also a force to be reckoned with and even powerful theories can be wrong. It was right that this result had the coverage it did. I hope the outcome will help people from both inside and outside science understand better how science works. It is not about whether something has passed peer-review or been backed by someone in authority. Those things are healthy signs, but any theory must be checked from every possible angle with ever better precision and every critical experimental result must be reproduced.

    • David Morgan says:

      OPERA spent months trying to disprove their result. They got their clocks calibrated in-situ by PTB to back up the original by METAS. They did detailed error analysies and verifications. Even though it was perfectly obvious that they probably made a mistake, suppressing “wrong answers” is almost as much of a disservice to science as fabricating “right answers”.

      How long should Ernest Rutherford have sat on his “obviously impossible” alpha particle scattering results?

      I think the burst of theory papers trying to explain the result in terms of new physics as opposed to the measurement error everyone knew it was were foolishly optimistic, but whatever.

      I’m reminded of a quote from Isaac Asimov:

      The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds new discoveries, is not “Eureka” but “That’s funny…”

      Usually, “that’s funny” means that I tested the wrong sample or dropped a decimal point or something else equally stupid. But sometimes it’s real, and should not be ignored just because it’s unexpected.

      • I don’t know about Rutherford, but it took Plank 10 years to convince himself that what he was dealing with something quite different from Newtonian physics.

    • Paul Hoiland says:

      Side note:

      For Fernando:

      If you look at http://arxiv.org/pdf/1203.4801.pdf there is a simularity in a
      warp field and those of a wormhole. In the frontal portion of a wormhole and a Warp
      drive you have a sort of singularity. If you look at the angle of reflections
      in this article you will notice incoming paths diverge from center point due to
      that singularity. Even if you accepted Natario’s idea on the whole blue shift
      issue, none of those will hit the craft if it is dead behind that reflective
      point. In essence, a warp field provides its own shield to forward incoming
      objects. Now, what effect those objects or photons have on the warp field is
      anyone’s guess. But in reality the craft never sees them directly or
      experiences them. The problem is not about their effect on the Craft at all.
      It is about their effect on the field. You also do have a problem with direct
      visual navigation thanks to that same effect. Question is can that reflective
      point be engineered to let the visual aspect though so you can navigate?

      Could one modify the Craft’s position and allow some information to intercept the craft to allow real navigation is what I am asking you Fernando? By Warp drive I am using the generic term here. All the forms have the same general effect on space-time.

      Just an idea for you to think about Old Friend.

  13. Nigel says:

    Also the power of having people trained in other disciplines (e.g. chemical engineering) working on nuclear physics! The Germans discovered fission in 1938 but failed to make nuclear V1 and V2 warheads, simply because Heisenberg didn’t know that traditional graphite production uses boron, which has a high cross-section for absorbing neutrons. This impurity made they dismiss graphite when they measured it’s overall cross-section (including the small but potent boron). The Americans had Leo Szilard, a former chemical engineer (who first proposed a neutron chain reaction in 1933), who knew boron was used in traditional graphite production and also knew boron had a high cross-section for neutron capture. Szilard put two and two together, so the Americans used an alternative method to purify graphite, while the Germans relied on far more expensive and slowly-produced heavy water from Norway as a reactor moderator.

    Even the experimental discovery of uranium fission in 1938 by Hahn was only followed by its interpretation by Meitner. It wasn’t predicted in advance by any “theory”, nor were the results even expected theoretically, regardless of chain reactions and Einstein’s mass-energy equivalance. Szilard argued in 1933 that a neutron chain reaction might occur if a material was found that emitted more neutrons than it absorbed. Fermi exposed all the elements to neutrons in 1934, including uranium, but failed to identify definite evidence of fission products and the consensus was that uranium had simply captured neutrons, producing higher atomic number radioactive materials like uranium 239. Fermi’s 12 Dec 1938 Nobel Prize lecture for discovering Artificial Radioactivity Produced by Neutron Bombardment states inaccurately:

    “We attempted, since the spring of 1934, to isolate chemically the carriers of these activities, with the result that the carriers of some of the activities of uranium are neither isotopes of uranium itself, nor of the elements lighter than uranium down to the atomic number 86. We concluded that the carriers were one or more elements of atomic number larger than 92; we, in Rome, use to call the elements 93 and 94 Ausenium and Hesperium respectively. It is known that O. Hahn and L. Meitner have investigated very carefully and extensively the decay products of irradiated uranium, and were able to trace among them elements up to the atomic number 96.*”

    http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/physics/laureates/1938/fermi-lecture.pdf

    Notice that Fermi was in his 1938 Nobel lecture claiming discovery of elements 93 and 94 for his Rome group (neptunium and plutonium) and even naming them. Fermi did not isolate them, and was using his belief to interpret ambigious data; they weren’t actually isolate and thus discovered until 1940. Fermi added the following footnote in his Nobel lecture (asterisk above):

    ” ** The discovery by Hahn and Strassmann of barium among the disintegration products of bombarded uranium, as a consequence of a process in which uranium splits into two approximately equal parts, makes it necessary to reexamine all the problems of the transuranic elements, as many of them might be found to be products of a splitting of uranium.”

    • Nigel says:

      Clearly both neutron capture and neutron induced fission would have resulted from Fermi’s 1934 irradiation of uranium with neutrons, making the results hard to interpret unambigiously. William Laurence, who interviewed Fermi on this for the New York Times writes in his book “Men and atoms” that Fermi admitted to being confused by his data.

      The problem is that history is written to try to force the subject to be dominated by solid theory, sophisticated mathematics, etc. Sure this plays a role, but not 100%. The useful “theory” is usually fabricated afterwards, by actually looking at the data…

  14. Nigel says:

    I’m not attacking Fermi, who richly deserved a Nobel prize for his original theory of beta decay, brilliantly arguing that the decay of a neutron with the emission of an electron, proton and antineutrino is analogous to a flavour-changing scattering of a neutrino and a neutron, resulting in the emission of a proton and an electron. This allowed beta decay to be treated as a flavour-changing Moller type scattering process. Fermi also named the neutrino which Pauli proposed, made the first nuclear reactor, etc. It’s just that prizes sometimes get given for the wrong things.

  15. S Halayka says:

    Entertainment = many chuckles, squared.

  16. exp^137 says:

    Mistake of measurement (4 and 9) was very large according to dissagreement (0.3).
    δt = (0.3 ± 4.0stat ± 9.0syst)ns
    Does this mean that both mistakes (stat and syst) are really much smaller if they would be more precisely determined?

  17. exp^137 says:

    Let us assume that we measure speed and energy of neutrinos in the opposite direction that pions and kaons fly toward the target.
    Is it so possible to reduce some velocities of neutrinos so much, that difference v-c would be measured?

    p.s. According to Fig 1 in the first article http://arxiv.org/abs/1109.4897, pions and kaons fly toward the target.

  18. PSTJ Editor says:

    Old News (Friday 16, 2012): 2nd neutrino team refutes faster-than-light find: “European researchers said Friday they have measured the speed of neutrinos and found the subatomic particles don’t travel faster than light after all, refuting another team’s measurements that prompted widespread disbelief among scientists last year.” See http://news.yahoo.com/2nd-neutrino-team-refutes-faster-light-154327218.html

  19. OPERA is terminated

    the main OPERA scientists resigned from their positions

    during 3 years OPERA runned with a bad fiber optic cable malfunction

    from wiki

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faster-than-light_neutrino_anomaly

    The faster-than-light neutrino anomaly is the detection by the OPERA experiment of subatomic particles, neutrinos, that appear to travel faster than light. It is considered anomalous since speeds higher than that of light in a vacuum are generally thought to violate special relativity, a cornerstone of the modern understanding of physics for over a century.[1][2]

    This result was publicly announced in September 2011 with the stated intention of promoting further inquiry and debate. However, in February 2012, the OPERA collaboration confirmed a ScienceInsider report on two possible sources of errors that could significantly affect the reported result.[3] One was a fiber connection, which, if loose, would have washed out the faster-than-light effect.[4] the other was a crystal oscillator timestamping events.[5] In March 2012, it was confirmed that there actually was a fiber optic malfunction during 2008-2011, in agreement with the OPERA anomaly.[6] OPERA spokesman Ereditato and OPERA physics coordinator Autiero resigned on March 30, 2012.[7]

  20. the case of OPERA still have implications …this is really The Power Of a Theory

    see for example the Massachussetts Institute of Technology(MIT) page on the Net Advances in Physics

    http://web.mit.edu/redingtn/www/netadv/

    now the MIT page of all the papers written to explain the “superluminality” of the neutrino

    the amount of papers is impressive ,,,btw look to the last papers in the page and one author will look familiar

    http://web.mit.edu/redingtn/www/netadv/ftlNuSwift.html

    a faulty cable generated a trigger of new thories in theoretical physics….

    the faulty cable have the Power….The Power Of a Theory

    btw: in my papers

    http://vixra.org/abs/1110.0033

    http://vixra.org/abs/1111.0012

    i posted comments on the OPERA saga ….due to a computer glitch this comment appears 3 times….i would ask Dr Gibbs to remove the two exceeding ones Many Thanks

    btw-2:note that viXra papers appears in a MIT site….so viXra is not exactly the “magnet crank” that some people think it is

  21. the issue of OPERA is closed and the faulty cable was confirmed but what most people dont know is the fact that OPERA have a “brother”

    called MINOS at Fermilab

    MINOS also reported FTL neutrinos and new experiments are settled for 2012…(hmmm better to check MINOS hardware rigorously in order to avoid a wandering faulty cable)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MINOS

    In 2007 an experiment with the MINOS detectors found the speed of 3 GeV neutrinos to be 1.000051(29) c at 68% confidence level, and at 99% confidence level a range between 0.999976 c to 1.000126 c. The central value was higher than the speed of light; however, the uncertainty was great enough that the result also did not rule out speeds less than or equal to light at this high confidence level.[6][7] The detectors for the project are being upgraded, and new results are not expected until at least 2012.

  22. OPERA is a case closed however its “brother “MINOS at Fermilab

    (Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory for those that dont know what is Fermilab) has awaken

    see the main MINOS page

    http://www-numi.fnal.gov/

    from there we can see

    ———————————————————————————–
    News and Updates
    Recent results from the MINOS Experiment collaboration presented in 2010 and 2011 can be found on the Scientific Results page, as well as a statement on the status of faster-than-light neutrino measurements.
    ———————————————————————————–

    this the scientific page of MINOS

    http://www-numi.fnal.gov/PublicInfo/forscientists.html

    from there we can see that MINOS people are aware of OPERA and it seems that the faulty cable was also present in Fermilab too….however MINOS is still trying to improve its measurements

    ————————————————————————————————————
    Superluminal Neutrinos

    The OPERA experiment has made a measurement of the time interval for neutrinos produced at CERN to reach their detector at Gran Sasso in Italy, and reported a neutrino velocity greater than the speed of light (superluminal). MINOS made a similar measurement with data taken in the first year of operation, and published the result in 2007 {“Measurement of neutrino velocity with the MINOS detectors and NuMI neutrino beam” Phys.Rev.D76:072005, Vol. 76, No. 7, 1 October 2007; also arXiv:0706.0437v3}. Various hardware-based systematic errors, listed in the publication, prevent this earlier measurement from addressing the present OPERA result. The MINOS collaboration is currently investigating available methods to improve its neutrino time-of-flight measurement using its existing data, as well as improvements for future data-taking, both utilizing features that newer GPS and time-keeping hardware can offer.
    ————————————————————————————————————

  23. ok lets put some sense of humor here in the OPERA scenario

    to relax for a while and have some fun

    according to wiki

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faster-than-light_neutrino_anomaly

    ——————————————————————————————-
    The faster-than-light neutrino anomaly is the detection by the OPERA experiment of subatomic particles, neutrinos, that appear to travel faster than light. It is considered anomalous since speeds higher than that of light in a vacuum are generally thought to violate special relativity, a cornerstone of the modern understanding of physics for over a century.[1][2]
    This result was publicly announced in September 2011 with the stated intention of promoting further inquiry and debate. However, in February 2012, the OPERA collaboration confirmed a ScienceInsider report on two possible sources of errors that could significantly affect the reported result.[3] One was a fiber connection, which, if loose, would have washed out the faster-than-light effect.[4] the other was a crystal oscillator timestamping events.[5] In March 2012, it was confirmed that there actually was a fiber optic malfunction during 2008-2011, in agreement with the OPERA anomaly.[6] OPERA spokesman Ereditato and OPERA physics coordinator Autiero resigned on March 30, 2012.[7]
    ——————————————————————————————–

    so a faulty cable destroyed a scientific experiment leading to the resignation of the head leaders

    how mighty and powerful a faulty cable can be haaaa??

    does anyone here knows English Literature???English Composition

    i know

    lets start with Shakespeare in the theater OPERA(oops just a coincidence) Richard III

    from wiki

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_III_(play)

    before the paragraph Date and Text
    ————————————————————————————
    At the battle of Bosworth Field, Lord Stanley (who is also Richmond’s stepfather) and his followers desert Richard’s side, whereupon Richard calls for the execution of George Stanley, Lord Stanley’s son. This does not happen, as the battle is in full swing, and Richard is left at a disadvantage. Richard is soon unhorsed on the field at the climax of the battle, and cries out, “A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse!” Richmond kills Richard in the final duel. Subsequently, Richmond succeeds to the throne as Henry VII, and marries Princess Elizabeth from the House of York
    ————————————————————————————

    perhaps (and since i know the British sense of humor eg Monty Pyton) an OPERA scientist in a Shakespeare theatrical piece should not say

    “A horse, a horse, my kingdom for a horse!”

    instead he(or she) should say

    “a cable a cable my kingdom for a cable”

    just kidding people lets have some fun :):):)

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