September 2011
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Day September 30, 2011

Breaking the speed of light

On 22 September, a group of Italian scientists reportedly broke the speed of light. They were measuring a beam of neutrinos sent from Geneva, over 500 miles away. The science is way too complicated for me. But the notion that this effort may overturn one of our most fundamental “laws” of physics fascinates me. Astrophysicist Adam Frank says that what’s being challenged here is “the structure of causality in the Universe” because it’s based on “an absolute cosmic speed limit.”

We’ve heard for a century-plus that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light. Our experience and all of our learning are based on the notion of time as linear. And if that turns out to be a faulty assumption,