During my time at school and college I loved Mathematics. It was definitely my best subject and I clearly had a logical mind that fitted in well.
Another subject that I was pretty good at during college was Physics. In fact, I received my highest grade in it, and that’s something that still amazes me to this very day.
Don’t get me wrong, I worked extremely hard for it. Physics had a lot of logic in it too so in theory most of it just followed a typical logical path for me I guess.
That is, until now…
Oh, Should We Panic?
Last week whilst reading the news I noticed a headline that puzzled me for a moment. You know the type, the ones you have to read half a dozen times to understand it. Well this one confused me. It said, “Earthquake in Physics!”
Er… really? Don’t you mean Geography, and not Physics? Well, apparently not.
I’m sure you may have heard about this. A group of scientists in Switzerland have announced an amazing discovery. They claim to have clocked particles called Neutrinos travelling faster than the speed of light.
Impossible! No! Never!
Surely this can’t be true (stay with me), because in 1905 Albert Einstein said it could never happen, and we know he was a genius. Well, for decades that’s how he’d been portrayed in Physics lessons around the world.
A Quick Technical Bit…
The speed of light is 186,282 miles per second, or 299,792 km per second if you prefer. Einstein’s theory of relativity focused on the formula of E=mc2. Out of this he said anything other than light is a physical object and therefore it has a mass, meaning it will travel slower than light.
The experiment on the other hand showed the neutrinos arriving 60 nanoseconds before the light arrived. Hardly a huge difference but it is faster, and a difference none the less.
Right, that’s the technical bit over with.
Time To Prove It
Scientists from all over the world are now trying to prove whether the findings are flawed, and if the experts at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) have simply made a big embarrassing mistake.
If proven to be correct then Physics can never be taught the same ever again. It just wouldn’t work. A teacher can’t say to their class “because of… Einstein’s theory is… well except for”.
What Would It Mean?
The exciting and interesting, but possibly worrying part of these findings, is that if it’s proved to be correct then it could open the door for time travel as ultimately it’s all to do with speed and time.
Back to the Future… No, the Other Way
So, I’ve been thinking this through. Let’s say it is true and Einstein was wrong. I have a question.
Why didn’t someone from the future travel back in time to 1905 and tell Einstein his discovery simply wasn’t true?
So I’ll tell you what I’m going to do. As no one can be bothered to go back, I’ll do it!
Right, so I’m off then. I’ll be back shortly. In fact, as far you know I could’ve been already.
Oh, hang on a minute! If it is true then you’ll be wondering who this chap Einstein is.
Hmm. Well that solves it then. By the very fact that I’m writing about it now means it can’t be true. So by simple logic I’ve solved it.
I always knew Physics was easy…