Astronomy Twitter Journal Club resumed after a short holiday with a discussion of the paper that everyone is talking about at the moment.
Thank you to everyone for taking part. It was a fun and lively discussion!
On to the review.
What do we think of the release of this paper
First thoughts: I think in a year or so from now they’ll look back on the press release etc as a bit embarrassing. – StephenSerjeant
Possibly, but do you think they had much choice – wikimir
Do you think? They don’t believe it themselves. Surely they just want someone to tell them what they did wrong – kashfarooq
They simply need help in understanding their experiment – antisophista
As I understand it, they’d already spent a year checking their results. Suppose they didn’t know what else to do – astronomyjc
I think it makes sense to have some input from the wider community – chris_tibbs
The adherence to “good scientific practice” is indeed admirable. This is a teachable moment for our 100-level courses! – @spj4
I didn’t like the PR but think OPERA team are doing everything right in science circles. – StephenSerjeant
On the publicity
On the plus side, the whole world is talking about physics and neutrinos. That’s pretty cool! People are suddenly comfortable mentioning SN1987a in conversation! – kashfarooq
It was a question in the pub quiz I went to last night! – kashfarooq
True but inevitable press coverage was “Einstein wrong!?” Perh press release could have hedged more? – StephenSerjeant
Neutrinos from this supernova arrived 3 hours before the light was detected optically. This 3 hour delay is because the journey of the light was being impeded by the atmosphere surrounding the dying star, whereas the neutrinos escaped without interacting with this material.
For SN1987a the 60 ns they observe cannot account for the observed 3 hours delay. You’d expect the neutrinos from SN1987A to arrive several years before the photons – antisophista
Using their figures, 4 years +/- 1 year – kashfarooq
I think there’s a misconception that SN1987A rules it out: measurement was inspired by arXiv:0805.0253 consistent with SN – StephenSerjeant
do the SN 1987A neutrinos cast sufficient doubt on this result to rule it out or don’t help because they were less energetic? – astronomyjc
What if we just didn’t notice neutrinos arriving 4 years before the light?
Could we have received the neutrinos from SN1987a 4 years earlier and have not noticed them??? Is that possible? Did we have neutrino detectors in 1983? – DVDGC13
There were no detectors capable of detecting SN neutrinos in 1983 – kashfarooq
so… then if they arrived here we missed them… am I right?? – DVDGC13
Raises the interesting poss. that we may have already detected bursts of neutrinos from future supernovae – astronomyjc
for GRBs it is even better… neutrinos should arrive several thousand years before we observe the actual GRB – antisophista
[Ben Still has written a blog post discussing this: Supernova Neutrinos in 1983 and 1987?]
Replicating the experiment and more papers
Is there any other detector that could attempt to replicate the CERN results? – astronomyjc
T2K can once they have two years more data… – kashfarooq
Some concluding thoughts
So, if the FTL neutrinos are real what are the implications? How much of the textbooks do we have to rewrite?! – astronomyjc
Who thinks they have found something, and who thinks there is a measurement error? – kashfarooq
The results imply new physics. They can’t be explained with diff energy or diff types of neutrino – kashfarooq
For once, one could say that the speed of light is *not* the limiting speed predicted by special relativity – antisophista
I think the first thing to do would be to determine if it is only neutrinos that can travel FTL. – chris_tibbs
I don’t think anyone is yet in a rush to rewrite causality or Lorentz invariance ;) – StephenSerjeant
I think it’s too soon to tell. It raises interesting possibilities, but need proof that it’s not measurement error – astronomyjc
99.9% prob it’ll be a systematic IMO but interesting 1st ex of crowd-sourcing professional experimental phys analysis?- StephenSerjeant