Sunday, 25 September 2011

PM Baburam Bhattarai adresses UN general assembly

How do you grade his speech? I found it as the general statement and many places, while trying to be more democratic, freedom fighter, loses the benefit of the country. Specially I have very strong disagreement in the final sentence of his speech. And, also not happy to support Palestine to be rather new country. In the interest of Nepalese people, it used to be the nicest decision if we remain "NEUTRAL" in this issue. We expect your thoughtful comments and feed back.....

Friday, 23 September 2011

Scientists: Particles appear to travel faster than light

  • NEW: Physics professor: "It's very, very remarkable if it's true"
  • The scientists' results indicate tiny particles traveled faster than the speed of light
  • They want other researchers to examine their findings
  • Neutrinos are subatomic particles, part of the elemental building blocks of the universe
(CNN) -- Scientists in Switzerland say an experiment appears to show that tiny particles traveled faster than the speed of light -- a result that would seem to defy the laws of nature.
The physicists say that neutrinos sent 730 kilometers (453.6 miles) underground between laboratories in Switzerland and Italy arrived a fraction of a second sooner than they should have, according to the speed of light.
The report was published Friday by a group of researchers working on the so-called Opera experiment, based at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) in Switzerland.
"This result comes as a complete surprise," report author Antonio Ereditato at the University of Bern, in Switzerland, said in a statement.
"After many months of studies and cross checks, we have not found any instrumental effect that could explain the result of the measurement."
The scientists on the Opera project would continue their research, he said, but "are also looking forward to independent measurements to fully assess the nature of this observation."
The finding would seem to challenge Albert Einstein's special theory of relativity, and the long-established law of physics that nothing can exceed the speed of light.
"It is very, very remarkable if it's true," said Professor Neville Harnew, head of particle physics at Oxford University.
"If this proves to be correct, then it will revolutionize physics as we know it."
He will be among scientists from around the world tuning into a webcast seminar held by CERN Friday afternoon, to discuss what Harnew describes as an "ultra-exciting" development that has come "totally out of the blue."
The Opera team's result is based on the observation of more than 15,000 bunches of neutrinos sent between CERN and the Gran Sasso Laboratory in Italy. A neutrino is an electrically neutral subatomic particle, an elemental building block of the universe.
The physicists say the measurements of the distance and the time involved were performed with great precision, to nanosecond accuracy.
And the results seemed to show the neutrinos travel "at a velocity 20 parts per million above the speed of light, nature's cosmic speed limit."
Sergio Bertolucci, research director at CERN, said the Opera team followed good scientific practice by throwing open their findings to other scientists.
"When an experiment finds an apparently unbelievable result and can find no artifact of the measurement to account for it, it's normal procedure to invite broader scrutiny," he said.
"If this measurement is confirmed, it might change our view of physics, but we need to be sure that there are no other, more mundane, explanations. That will require independent measurements."
Ereditato said more research is needed.
"The potential impact on science is too large to draw immediate conclusions or attempt physics interpretations," he said. "My first reaction is that the neutrino is still surprising us with its mysteries."
Harnew said the new finding "cannot currently fit in the standard theories at all" and would have to be confirmed by another experiment -- to ensure there is no subtle systemic error at play -- before a discovery can be claimed.
And he cautions that "neutrino measurements are extremely difficult experiments," making it hard to verify results independently.
Neutrinos, which are emitted during the process of radioactive decay, have only a tiny mass and usually pass through matter without interacting with anything else, making them very hard to detect.
CERN is one of only a handful of laboratories capable of running an experiment like the Opera project, Harnew said. Other possible sites could be J-Parc in Japan, home of the multinational T2K project, and Fermilab in Illinois.
It was only recently discovered that neutrinos, which come in three types, can switch from one type to another. If they can indeed travel faster than mass-less particles, like light, then these mysterious particles will have done even more to turn the world of physics on its head.