In the sidelines of the international news there was a small item concerning a discovery made by scientists of CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research based in Switzerland. The discovery was made in the OPERA project. This is what CERN states on their website:
The OPERA experiment, which observes a neutrino beam from CERN 730 km away at Italy’s INFN Gran Sasso Laboratory, will present new results in a seminar at CERN today.
The OPERA result is based on the observation of over 15000 neutrino events measured at Gran Sasso, and appears to indicate that the neutrinos travel at a velocity 20 parts per million above the speed of light, nature’s cosmic speed limit. Given the potential far-reaching consequences of such a result, independent measurements are needed before the effect can either be refuted or firmly established. This is why the OPERA collaboration has decided to open the result to broader scrutiny.
Now what does this mean in layman’s terms? (I am not a nuclear scientist and was educated with Einstein’s relativity theory as the biggest scientific discovery ever.)
CERN states that they’ve been able to measure the speed of particles which seem to be traveling at a higher speed than the speed of light. A cornerstone of Albert Einstein’s relativity theory is that nothing can travel faster than the speed of light, so this CERN observation means that Einstein was wrong in the very foundation of his theory. The consequence of it all is that it means that, according to Einstein’s reasoning, matter can – in theory – be transported to the past. A bit like Dr. Who and ‘Back to the Future‘ I guess. Not that something like that is possible soon because building a time machine is still scientifically incomprehensible, but the theory would allow that.
Of course all scientific results needs to be verified, so CERN requested US and Japanese research partners to verify the results CERN has found and published. In due time this verification will be made and if positive the effect of that is Einstein’s relativity theory can be trashed for a part.
Although the scientific results are there and we are all waiting for proof of that by verification, I wouldn’t be surprised if in fact CERN observations are right. But my mind doesn’t allow me to understand the consequences. After all, Einstein’s relativity theory has been a solid basis for my understanding of the fourth dimension: time. If I let my brain free on a world in which particles can travel through time it will simply mean that I can no longer trust history. And if I can not trust history, because it might have been manipulated by matter (people and things) that travel in time. Dr. Who and ‘Back to the Future’ are instantly closer to reality. My mind also gets into trouble thinking about an entity like God as a result of all this and so, in a sense, it seems that CERN has discovered the ‘God Particle‘. The scientific evidence that even time is not linear and a solid reference. Meaning that scriptures and the existence of people like Jesus and Mohammed, Vishnu, Rama, Sita and Buddha are all really mythological and not real. And creation would not be an act of the divine but, as Darwin wrote, the start of a natural process of development. It would be like I have always thought ever since I was able to understand Einstein (and Darwin). But there was no proof of Einstein’s flaw in theory and there was no solid proof of Darwin’s views of the moment of creation. And now, that proof of at least Einstein’s flaw seems to be there. CERN’s God Particle seems to have presented that proof.
Dan Brown’s novel Angels and Demons touched upon this topic in a novelistic manner, and honestly I rather go with literature and storytelling than with science for I can understand art much better than science. Although Dan Brown’s stories are just that: stories, I can easily travel in my mind with a future that is in reality the present or a past. I for one would love to be able to travel through time. Just because I would love to live in an age where the are no automobiles, mobile phones, computers and any modern technology. Or an age where the women can dress in Dior’s New Look on a daily basis. Or maybe an age where life was much simpler than it is nowadays. The only problem would be that my knowledge and ideas would travel with me. The upside would be that I would be able to see my parents again. And their parents for the first time in my life. Maybe I could even go there and take my grandfather to this day and ages and show him what has become of it all before swiftly bringing him back to his own age.
But before all that, CERN’s God Particle needs to be verified for existence and I am not sure if it ever will. Until that happens I prefer to follow Einstein’s thinking which means that I have to live in this age and enjoy what life brings me now. So when the sun rises today I will look at it and be thankful that it did rise. And make the best of it.
Alice © 2012