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Faster Than Light Speed? Slow Down!

When a group of physicists who called themselves "Opera" announced in September that a group of subatomic particles called neutrinos had traveled faster than the speed of light, many physicists assumed something had gone wrong with the experiment, since it violated one of the cardinal laws of physics: Albert Einstein's theory of relativity.

Now another team of physicists, calling themselves "Icarus," reported that they have repeated the experiment and found that they raced along at the speed of light and not a bit faster.

In the March 27th edition of the New York Times, Dennis Overbye quotes the director of CERN (which did the original measurement), Sergio Bertolucci, as saying, "The evidence is beginning to point toward the Opera result being an artifact of the measurement." In other words, he's admitting that CERN goofed. Overbye writes: "Physicists swung into line with great sighs of relief."

He quotes "Opera" researcher Laura Patrizii as saying that even Einstein proceeded by trail and error: "We are allowed to be wrong."

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