You are here:

Physics/Regarding FTL


Hi Steve,

According to special theory of relativity equations, there can't be object that could travel faster than light. I read that OPERA experiment done in collaboration with CERN detected neutrinos travelling faster than light. They consistently detected over 6 months but look like due to politics they have recanted their results.

It seems to me that scientific community is always biased to prove theory of relativity right? Please clarify.

Biased towards a theory?  No. Statistics and further measurement won out, not can't sweep a solid measurement under a rug due to politics, it would just be re-measured.  That's the short answer.  

The long answer is that everyone LOVES data that could open up new physics and we are biased to pursue those data absolutely as far as possible.  We absolutely adore data that runs counter to relativity and it fascinates us!  It's exciting, the possibility of new physics and we are biased towards being cautious about anything that goes against a well-proven theory unless we have very certain data.  But once the data is questioned and tested we go with it.  Politics doesn't change physics and bias is not something that can be woven into the fabric of the universe.


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Dr. Stephen O. Nelson


I can answer most basic physics questions, physics questions about science fiction and everyday observations of physics, etc. I'm also usually good for science fair advice (I'm the regional science fair director). I do not answer homework problems. I will occasionally point out where a homework solution went wrong, though. I'm usually good at explaining odd observations that seem counterintuitive, energy science, nuclear physics, nuclear astrophysics, and alternative theories of physics are my specialties.


I was a physics professor at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin, research in nuclear technology and nuclear astrophysics. My travelling science show saw over 20,000 students of all ages. I taught physics, nuclear chemistry, radiation safety, vacuum technology, and answer tons of questions as I tour schools encouraging students to consider careers in science. I moved on to a non-academic job with more research just recently.

Ph. D. from Duke University in physics, research in nuclear astrophysics reactions, gamma-ray astronomy technology, and advanced nuclear reactors.

©2017 All rights reserved.