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An international team of scientists say they have recorded neutrino particles traveling at faster than the speed of light.
A spokesman for the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) particle physics centre announced the news on Thursday, a finding that could overturn Albert Einstein's theory that nothing can go faster than the speed of light (299,792,458 m/s, or 1,080 million km/hr).
The measurements still must be confirmed, but if verified, would represent a serious challenge to one of the fundamental rules of physics.
"We have high confidence in our results. But we need
But two German physicists claim to have forced light to overcome its own speed limit using the strange phenomenon of quantum tunnelling, in which particles summon up the energy to cross an apparently uncrossable barrier. Their experiments focused on the travel of microwave photons - energetic packets of light - through two prisms. When the prisms were moved apart, most photons reflected off the first prism they encountered and were picked up by a detector. But a few appeared to "tunnel" through a gap separating them as if the prisms were still held together. Although these photons had travelled a longer distance, they arrived at their detector at the same time as the reflected photons. This suggests that the transit between the two prisms was faster than the speed of light. Dr Gunter Nimtz, of the University of Koblenz, told the magazine New Scientist: "For the time being, this is the only violation of special relativity that I know of."