Tag: Newton

Pique the Geek 20110925: Faster than Light

The recent results from CERN (the acronym for the original name for the outfit, Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire) about neutrinos being propagated faster than light speed has caught a lot of attention.  I am still not convinced that the data are correct, but 15,000 individual measurements at the high certainty that is claimed certainly gets one’s attention.

I am not prepared to say whether or not these results are valid as of yet.  The folks at CERN are begging other laboratories with comparable apparatus and expertise to verify (or to refute) the findings.  That is how science is supposed to work!

However, 15,000 individual determinations are a LOT of data!  Let us for the moment take the data at face value and assume that this is not a fluke nor a mistake, but an actual “violation” of the Special Theory of Relativity that indicates that no massive particle can exceed the speed of light, henceforth called c.  Ready to do some thought experiments?  I am!  Let us go!

Fantasy Fun 20101018: Let’s Have Dinner Together

Well, not you and me particularly, but with some historical figures.  This was sort of spurred by Keith Olbermann’s story about Michele Bachmann’s list of people with whom she would like to have dinner.  I could not imagine a dinner with only six to eight folks, including me, wherein I could meet everyone that I would want, so I have set up a series of dinners with diverse groups of folks that I would love to get to know.  By the way, K.O. will be in a future installment if there is enough interest in this series.

Tonight’s installment will include a dinner with physicists (or their historical counterparts) that are both living and dead.  Here are my rules:  1) I am not personally acquainted with anyone mentioned (a chance meeting, like on a flight does not count), 2) within certain limits, only a maximum of eight people can attend.  More than that would make highly interactive conversation difficult, and 3) there is no language barrier.