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Speed Of Light Hasn't Been Broken, Second Set Of Scientists Says

Albert Einstein: His famous theory faces a challenge.
Albert Einstein: His famous theory faces a challenge.

Full disclosure: We're not even close to being qualified to figure out who's right and who's wrong on this one.

But given all the attention that's been paid to the claim by one group of Italian scientists that they may have fired a neutrino beam that sent particles flying faster than the speed of light, we want to pass along this, from Reuters:

"An international team of scientists in Italy studying the same neutrino particles colleagues say appear to have traveled faster than light rejected the startling finding this weekend, saying their tests had shown it must be wrong."

There's a paper from that second group of scientists posted here.

According to a fairly laymen-friendly post at Science 2.0, this second group of scientists looked at the tests and concluded that "the energy spectrum of the detected neutrino interactions in [the original group's experiment] shows a very nice agreement with the expectation for well-behaved light-speed-moving neutrinos." In other words, the neutrinos acted just as you'd expect them to — not in a way that challenges Albert Einstein's theory of relativity.

We trust our friends at the 13.7 blog will be able to sort this all out.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Mark Memmott
Mark Memmott is NPR's supervising senior editor for Standards & Practices. In that role, he's a resource for NPR's journalists – helping them raise the right questions as they do their work and uphold the organization's standards.