The result is not the first of this kind and the often proposed interpretation is that neutrinos behave like tachyons. The following is the abstract of the article giving a summary about the earlier evidence that neutrinos can move faster than the speed of light.
From a mathematical point of view velocities can be larger than c. It has been shown that Lorentz transformations are easily extended in Minkowski space to address velocities beyond the speed of light. Energy and momentum conservation fixes the relation between masses and velocities larger than c, leading to the possible observation of negative mass squared particles from a standard reference frame. Current data on neutrino mass squared yield negative values, making neutrinos as possible candidates for having speed larger than c. In this paper, an original analysis of the SN1987A supernova data is proposed. It is shown that all the data measured in '87 by all the experiments are consistent with the quantistic description of neutrinos as combination of superluminal mass eigenstates. The well known enigma on the arrival times of the neutrino bursts detected at LSD, several hours earlier than at IMB, K2 and Baksan, is explained naturally. It is concluded that experimental evidence for superluminal neutrinos was recorded since the SN1987A explosion, and that data are quantitatively consistent with the introduction of tachyons in Einstein's equation.
Personally I cannot take tachyonic neutrinos seriously. I would not however choose the easy option and argue that the result is due to a bad experimentation as Lubos and Jester do. This kind of effect is actually one of the basic predictions of TGD and emerge for more than 20 years ago. Also several Hubble constants are predicted and explanation for why the distance between Earth and Moon seems to increasing as an apparent phenomenon emerges. There are many other strange phenomena which find an explanation.
In TGD Universe space-time is many-sheeted 4-surface in 8-D imbedding space M4× CP2 and since the light-like geodesics of space-time sheet are not light-like geodesics of Minkowski space it takes in general longer time to travel from point A to B along them than along imbedding space geodesics. Space-time sheet is bumpy and wiggled so that the path is longer. Each space-time sheet corresponds to different light velocity as determined from the travel time. The maximal signal velocity is reached only in an ideal situation when the space-time geodesics are geodesics of Minkowski space.
Robertson-Walker cosmology gives a good estimate for the light velocity in cosmological scales.
- One can use the relationship
relating the curvature radius a of RW cosmology space (equal to M4 light-cone proper time, the light-like boundary of the cone corresponds to the moment of Big Bang) and cosmic time t appearing in Robertson-Walker line element
- If one believes that Einstein's equations in long scales, one obtains
(8πG/3)× ρ =(gaa-1-1)/a2.
One can solve from this equation gaa and therefore get an estimate the cosmological speed of light as
- By plugging in the estimates
a= ≈ t≈ 13.8× Gy (the actual value is around 10 Gy)
ρ≈ 5 mp/m3 (5 protons per cubic meter)
G= 6.7× 1o-11 m3kg-1s-2
one obtains the estimate
(gaa)1/2 ≈ .73.
What can we conclude from the result? The light velocity identified as cosmic light velocity would 27 per cent smaller than the maximal signal velocity. This could easily explain why neutrinos arrived from SN1987A few hours earlier than photons: they just arrived along different space-time sheet containing somewhat less matter. One could also understand OPERA results.
If these findings survive they will provide an additional powerful empirical support for the notion of many-sheeted space-time. Sad that TGD predictions must still be verified via accidental experimental findings. It would be much easier to do the verification of TGD systematically. In any case, Laws of Nature do not care about science policy, and I dare hope that the mighty powerholders of particle physics are sooner or later forced to accept TGD as the most respectable known candidate for a theory unifying standard model and General Relativity.