I've suggested (& published in 21 journal papers) a new theory called quantised inertia (or MiHsC) that assumes that inertia is caused by horizons damping quantum fields. It predicts galaxy rotation & lab thrusts without any dark stuff or adjustment. My University webpage is here, I've written a book called Physics from the Edge and I'm on twitter as @memcculloch. Most of my content is at patreon now: here

Wednesday 29 February 2012

Experiments and logic

At the moment the OPERA faster than light (FTL) result is far too uncertain to be trusted, and needs replication, but, in an article just published in New Scientist [1] (see below) R. Garisto argues that: "models which explain [the FTL] by breaking relativity are ruled out". He says he knows this because a recent paper by Cohen and Glashow [2] proposed that a neutrino going faster than light "may lose energy rapidly by bremsstrahlung", and the OPERA neutrinos did not, so they cannot have travelled FTL. Surely there is an error in logic here, since Garisto is effectively saying: you cannot violate standard physics unless you do it using standard physics.

Travelling faster than light violates standard physics in about the biggest way possible, and it is wrong to reject theories that explain experimental results (as Garisto says he has) by saying that they violate standard physics. Such an attitude would doom fundamental physics to an endless sterility. In physics, experiment (even if later shown to be flawed) must come first. If the OPERA result is supported experimentally, then standard physics is going to have to mumble sheepish apologies, and new physics will be needed. My point here is not that I think the OPERA result is necessarily correct, but rather that, in cases like this, objective logic should be applied, rather than a blind faith in standard physics.

[1] http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn21515-lights-speed-limit-is-safe-for-now.html
[2] http://prl.aps.org/abstract/PRL/v107/i18/e181803

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