Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Too soon? Here is "The Neutrino Song" by Corrigan Brothers

by Salman Hameed

There is no time to breathe these days. It has been only a month since the announcement of the tantalizing results that neutrinos may have broken the cosmic speed limit. We don't know if the results will hold up with further scrutiny, but it is already a part of popular culture. Incidentally, just yesterday in our class on Astrobiology, we were talking about the 1996 announcement of possible remains of Martian lifeforms in the meteorite ALH84001. Fifteen years later, almost all scientists doubt the original claim, but a majority of the general public remember only the original announcement (for which even Bill Clinton had a press conference, which was later used in the movie Contact). This may turn out to be the case for the neutrinos results too - but it has already left its mark. Here is an article on this issue and more by Dennis Overbye in today's NYT. Fascinatingly, he quotes a 1960 poem about neutrinos by John Updike that was published in the New Yorker:

The Earth is just a silly ball
To them through which they pass
Like dustmaids down a drafty hall
Or photons through a sheet of glass.

Very cool. But then he also pointed to this video by Corrigan Brothers. It is called "The Neutrino Song", and is a direct commentary on the recent results. Enjoy.

3 comments:

Asad M said...

Thanks for the post Dr. Salman. Catchy tune and loved the lyrics.

It's unlikely that the Neutrinos went faster than light, but if they did somehow, could it be that they went through an 'exra dimension' or a wormhole of some sort, which in turn would mean that Einstein's relativity theory still holds true. This is what an LHC scientist had said at that time.

Asad M said...

Some questions here:

The LHC has come up with more exciting news in the last couple of months. Researchers at Cern have failed to find evidence for supersymmetric particles therefore putting the Supersymmetry theory in a difficult spot. I know there is a lot more work to be done at the LHC (and other labs for that matter) before finally writing off the beautiful Supersymmetry theory but could it also mean the end of Superstring theory by its association to supersymmetry? Could even the M-theory be in jeopardy? I can sense Lee Smolin secretly smiling somewhere.

Also if the LHC scientists fail to discover the Higgs Boson by next summer, then what modifications will be required in the Standard Model of particle physics? Surely there’s so much at stake in the next few years or even months.

Here are some links:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-14680570

http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2011/08/lhc-supersymmetry-physics/

http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2392094,00.asp#fbid=9ml9-ScDrxV

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-14731690

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It's unlikely that the Neutrinos went faster than light, but if they did somehow, could it be that they went through an 'exra dimension' or a wormhole of some sort, which in turn would mean that Einstein's relativity theory still holds true.
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