Tuesday, October 18, 2011

ICARUS refutes OPERA: really?

Tommaso Dorigo managed to write the hype of his life about super-luminal neutrinos. This kind of accidents are unavoidable and any blogger sooner or later becomes a victim of such an accident. To my great surprise Tommaso described in a completely uncritical and hypeish manner a study by ICARUS group in Gran Sasso and concluded that it definitely refutes OPERA result. This if of course a wrong conclusion and based on the assumption that special and general relativity hold true as such and neutrinos are genuinely superluminal.

Also Sascha Vongehr wrote about ICARUS a a reaction to Tommaso's surprising posting but this was purposely written half-joking hype claiming that ICARUS proves that neutrinos travel the first 18 meters with a velocity at least 10 times higher than c. Sascha also wrote a strong criticism of the recent science establishment. The continual uncritical hyping is leading to the loss of the respectability of science and I cannot but share his views. Also I have written several times about the ethical and moral decline of the science community down to what resembles the feudal system of middle ages in which Big Boys have first night privilege to new ideas: something which I have myself had to experience many times.

What ICARUS did was to measure the energy distribution of muons detecteded in Gran Sasso. This result is used to claim that OPERA result is wrong. The measured energy distribution is compared with the distribution predicted assuming that Cohen-Glashow interpretation is correct. This is an extremely important ad hoc assumption without which the ICARUS demonstration fails completely.

  1. Cohen and Glashow assume a genuine super-luminality and argue that this leads to the analog of Cherenkov radiation leading to a loss of neutrino energy: 28.2 GeV at CERN is reduced to averge of 12.1 GeV at Gran Sasso. From this model one can predict the energy distribution of muons in Gran Sasso.
  2. The figure of Icarus prepring demonstrates that the distribution assuming now energy loss fits rather well the measured energy distribution of muons. The figure does not show the predicted distribution but the figure text tells that the super-luminal distribution would be much "leaner", which one can interpret as a poor fit.
  3. From this ICARUS concludes that neutrinos cannot have exceeded light velocity. The experimental result of course tells only that neutrinos did not lose energy: about the neutrino velocity it says nothing without additional assumptions.

At the risk of boring the reader I repeat: the fatal assumption is that a genuine super-luminality is in question. The probably correct conclusion from this indeed is that neutrinos would lose their energy during their travel by Cherenkov radiation.

In TGD framework situation is different (see this, this, this, and also the article). Neutrinos move in excellent approximation velocity which is equal to the maximal signal velocity but slightly below it and without any energy loss. The maximal signal velocity is however higher for a neutrino carrying space-time sheets than those carrying photons- a basic implication sub-manifold gravity. I have explained this in detail in previous postings and in the article.

The conclusion is that ICARUS experiment supports the TGD based explanation of OPERA result. Note however that at this stage TGD does not predict effective superluminality but only allows and even slightly suggests it and provides also a possible explanation for its energy independence and dependences on length scale and particle. TGD suggests also new tests using relativistic electrons instead of neutrinos.

It is also important to realize that the the apparent neutrino super-luminality -if true- provides only single isolated piece evidence for sub-manifold gravity. The view about space-time as 4-surface permeates the whole physics from Planck scale to cosmology predicting correctly particle spectrum and providing unification of fundamental interactions, it is also in a key role in TGD inspired quantum biology and also in quantum consciousness theory inspired by TGD.

Let us sincerely hope that the conclusion of ICARUS will not be accepted as uncritically as Tommasso did.

For details and background see the article Are neutrinos superluminal and the chapter TGD and GRT of "Physics in Many-Sheeted Space-time".

3 Comments:

At 12:37 PM, Blogger ThePeSla said...

Matti,

Early in the days trying to understand the quasars there was the conclusion that inside them light must be traveling ten times faster to explain the distances and time involved. I am not sure what has happened with these concepts since 1964.

I am not sure the personal evaluations of mistakes- nor the conclusions made uncritically in error or that turn out to be right when said humorously are relavant to the need to experiment and do science. We are in a time when it may not be a good idea to vote yay or nay to some anomality that appears (unless of course you have a little more advanced idea by which you can be a little more certain than the rest).

I asked Lubos about X and Y in the pacman like article and he gave me a great reply- but I cannot seem to find that post and other thoughts he had on the matter- you discussed the X and Y the next day. Can we lose posts to spam? Can the author delete them if for some reason they reconsider?

I have had some general things to say about p-adics 101, and it could be our experimental apparatus as with the desires of the experimenter may give different results relative to some higher views of numbers. This would not change the higher truths of such values. But few can reach agreements in such a case.

Now, I would expect you to say that the neutrinos on these sheets, as if projection and description the grounding science and relativity not sound and greater than that of which I agree with you it goes beyond it, that it must be a prime number value and not the composite mess we seem to have.

The PeSla

 
At 6:51 PM, Anonymous matpitka@luukku.com said...

The difficulty with observations about superluminality is that it is not always easy to decide whether a causal effect is in question. Consider only what you see when you have a lamp which you rotate. At large enough distances the spotlight moves with a superluminal velocity but spotlight does not define a causal signal.

Interference effects can also cause apparent superluminality in electromagnetism. Macroscopic quantum effects can also cause apparently superluminal velocities: here one must distinguish between two times: subjective and geometric.

About quasar situation I do not simply know enough to say anything interesting.

During these weeks of superluminal neutrinos I have learned how rare phenomenon genuine thinking is. It must be really difficult.

Most people see maximal signal velocity as a number, not a concept. They identify it without any hesitation maximal signal velocity with light velocity.

They are unable to imagine that it might be possible to have a conceptual framework consistent with the basic principles of special and general relativities but predict particle dependent and length scale dependent maximal signal velocity.


Sub-manifold gravity is this conceptual scenario and although string people have been talking about branes for a long time, this simple realization has not yet been made. The reason is that for most colleagues theoretical physics is just a tool box, not a world view.

The apparent neutrino super-luminality -if true- provides only single isolated piece evidence for sub-manifold gravity. The view about space-time as 4-surface permeates the whole physics from Planck scale to cosmology predicting correctly particle spectrum and providing unification of fundamental interactions, it is in key role in TGD inspired quantum biology and also in quantum consciousness theory inspired by TGD.

 
At 6:42 AM, Blogger Leonardo Rubino said...

They did not have to wait such a news (on faster thal light particles) was confirmed!!!
Such a news had to be rejected immediately, as I did!
And I did it because I knew electromagnetism.

http://www.fisicamente.net/portale/modules/news2/article.php?storyid=2393

(ALSO ENGLISH, ON BOTTOM OF THE ARTICLE)

Regards.

Leo.

 

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