Home Front Page Prof. Antonio Ereditato, neutrino faster than light scientist, has resigned

Prof. Antonio Ereditato, neutrino faster than light scientist, has resigned

Prof. Antonio Ereditato, the head of an experiment that appeared to show subatomic particles travelling faster than the speed of light, has resigned from his post.

Prof. Antonio Ereditato oversaw results that appeared to challenge Einstein’s theory that nothing could travel faster than the speed of light.

Reports said some members of his group, called OPERA, had wanted Prof. Antonio Ereditato to resign.

Earlier in March, a repeat experiment found that the particles, known as neutrinos, did not exceed light speed.

When the results from the OPERA group at the Gran Sasso underground laboratory in Italy were first published last year, they shocked the world, threatening to upend a century of physics as well as relativity theory – which holds the speed of light to be the Universe’s absolute speed limit.

The experiment involved measuring the time it took for neutrinos to travel the 730 km (450 miles) from CERN laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland to the lab in Italy.

Prof. Antonio Ereditato oversaw results that appeared to challenge Einstein's theory that nothing could travel faster than the speed of light

Prof. Antonio Ereditato oversaw results that appeared to challenge Einstein's theory that nothing could travel faster than the speed of light

Speaking at the time, Prof. Antonio Ereditato added “words of caution” because of the “potentially great impact on physics” of the result.

“We tried to find all possible explanations for this,” he said.

“We wanted to find a mistake – trivial mistakes, more complicated mistakes, or nasty effects – and we didn’t.

“When you don’t find anything, then you say <<well, now I’m forced to go out and ask the community to scrutinize this>>.”

Despite the call for caution, the results caused controversy within the world of physics.

If the findings had been confirmed, they would have disproved Albert Einstein’s 1905 Special Theory of Relativity.

Earlier this month, a test run by a different group at the same Italian laboratory recorded neutrinos travelling at precisely light speed.

Sandro Centro, co-spokesman for the ICARUS collaboration, said that he was not surprised by the result.

“In fact I was a little skeptical since the beginning,” he said at the time.

“Now we are 100% sure that the speed of light is the speed of neutrinos.”

So far, Prof. Antonio Ereditato has not commented on his decision to step down from his post.


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  • Marc

    How sad. A man forced to resign because of questioning ideology of Einstein. How low the physics has fallen.

    Have you noticed that since 50’s there’s been no true advancement in the field of physics? We have seen only the developments of the ‘better mouse traps’ and an astounding amount of science fiction. How’s your wormhole working today? Is it making energy or money for you? Are you getting lots of return from parallel universes? Is dark matter working hard for your retirement? You see how physics has become nonsense of purely mathematical constructs disconnected from reality. Kind of like the mathematics of the Wall Street that crashed the economy. But unlike the economy, the physicists still suck the taxpayer money dry. All this coincides with the advance of government money into physics and the firm establishment of the peer review.

    For those who don’t know, the peer review (in physics) was established in late 1800’s under the assumption that everything that is to be found in physics, was found. There is nothing new in the Universe. From that it follows that whatever experts we have today will be enough to judge any new theory.

    The proponents of peer review say that it weeds out bad apples. Virtually every major advancement in physics was a bad apple at the time. It’s human nature. People who are paid to maintain status quo (and receive hefty government money for it) will not budge. Or to put it plainly, it’s hard to make someone understand something, if his salary depends on him not understanding it.

    The theories of Einstein and Heisenberg were published at the time when every paper was published (in the two major German journals, Annalen der Physik and Zeitschrift fur Physik). There was no peer review beyond making sure that someone doesn’t claim that God makes it all happen. Of course, lots and lots and lots of garbage was published. But a few breakthroughs were published as well. This is how the physics was built. You can’t have true advancement in physics if everything published must appease to everyone. Physics is not a democracy, it’s not a popularity contest. The popularity contest works fine in politics, but the Universe is not that forgiving. You’re either right, or you’re not. The Universe will not give you Presidency just because you’re popular, eloquent and know how to legally smear others.

    The peer review today means that anybody with a revolutionary idea will be shut down, in the name of not being too upsetting. Derogatory and insulting terms such as ‘crackpottery’ are used. In reality, without upsets, there is no progress. Our own tax money is being paid to the physics establishment to promulgate what’s essentially a church dogma.

    This dogma says that if your work is not in concert with Einstein (and a few other demigods), it can’t be right. No one in particular is presiding over this. There is no Pope in physics. Just hundreds and thousands of physicists who get their fat salaries to keep things as they are. Why? Because if there is an upset, many of them would lose jobs to make room for better theories. This would happen because most jobs in physics depend on government grants, so much so, that approximately 90% of their salaries come from government grants. What would happen if better theories were found? Grants would go somewhere else. You do the math.

    Think better energy sources will be found? Think humanity will ever find true safety by going out among the stars? Want to have a sense of wonder about the future and its discoveries? Not so fast, and not with the physics as it is today, not with the people in charge of it. Sorry. The future of humankind is sacrificed for the cushy jobs of a few physicists – that you pay for yourself. Congratulations everyone, good job!