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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2011 > Sep > Sep 29

Re: D'oh! Light Speed Threshold Broken?

From: Martin Shough <parcellular.nul>
Date: Wed, 28 Sep 2011 20:13:55 +0100
Archived: Thu, 29 Sep 2011 06:19:08 -0400
Subject: Re: D'oh! Light Speed Threshold Broken?

>From: Gerald O'Connell <goc.nul>
>To: post.nul
>Date: Tue, 27 Sep 2011 18:53:58 +0100
>Subject: Re: D'oh! Light Speed Threshold Broken?

>>From: Martin Shough <parcellular.nul>
>>To: <post.nul>
>>Date: Mon, 26 Sep 2011 13:00:51 +0100
>>Subject: Re: D'oh! Light Speed Threshold Broken?


>However, the next wholesale theoretical revision may still be
>such as to preserve the validity of your argument. To illustrate
>my point, I'd invite you to conduct a brief thought experiment
>in the future history of science (OK, I know this is speculation
>about speculation, but bear with me): suppose that the edifice
>has to be rebuilt with the abandonment of one key assumption,
>and suppose that assumption were to be the (very) deeply
>embedded one that the mass/energy equivalence exhausts all
>existential categories? In other words, neutrinos can exceed the
>speed of light in a vacuum because they are neither mass nor
>energy, but a third type of thing. The fact that they appear to
>have a tiny mass may turn out to be a by-product of some over-
>arching truth about the nature of things that we just aren't
>onto yet.

Blimey, Gerald, this is tuff stuff.

That's a possibility. Some people have tried reducing everything
to a third kind of thing called information, which would be one
way to go along those lines. But something needs to stop such a
project being merely a redundant semantic reformulation of
existing physics. I agree that an experimental result like
CERN's, if robust, _could_ be it. Speculation....

One example of this type of thing that appeals to me is that it
might reveal something radical about the underlying (or
overarching, depending how you look at it) nonlocal quantum
structure which I suspect must one day be found to be dual with
spacetime. I have my own picturesque prejudices about what sort
of intervallic structure that might be.

What could it mean to say that a neutrino had arrived back in
its own past by travelling those 730 km? Inasmuch as this
implies Lorentz symmetry-breaking I suppose you could say that
it had undone its own spin, simultaneously become its own
antineutrino, and annihilated with itself to give a massless,
spin-zero, scalar Goldstone boson which can be described as the
"Higgs mode" of a mass- and gravity-donating complete graph
lattice conformal wiith the network of photon null signal lines.
(Does that really mean anything? you ask. I'm honestly not sure!
Wild speculation....)

>Alternatively, the wholesale theoretical revision that may
>invalidate your argument and cause lots of other trouble
>besides, is the one where causality is called into question.
>This is difficult to envisage and even harder to talk about!

I suppose most if not all physicists would be having the same
kind of thoughts. What if it _is_ possible to use this set-up to
transfer information along with momentum outside the light cone?
Or is it possible that neutrino signal velocities could be
limited in practice to c? Will the the result turn out to be
more like a correlation than a signal? Is it merely a phase-
velocity effect, as opposed to a group- or signal-velocity
effect? Photon phase velocities can routinely be faster than c.
In the CERN case the measurement comes from plotting the
envelope of a large number of detections in a complicated
proceedure, so maybe they are measuring the phase speed of a
wave group? Speculation.....

>Nonetheless, this may become necessary. Right now, I'm not sure
>that many people have grasped the implications of this. Science
>and mathematics are underpinned by certain logical processes
>of an 'if - then'' nature. Broadly we can divide these into
>deductive and inductive processes. If causality is called into
>question (it doesn't have to be 'overturned' or abandoned' -
>there a still situations where it holds good, but we would have
>to accept that there are other situations where it doesn't hold
>good and a completely different explanatory apparatus is
>required), then so are the inductive processes that we take to
>be axiomatic (the deductive ones still stand because they are,
>ultimately, in the form of 'restatements' - the conclusions are
>already embedded somehow in the assumptions). This isn't just an
>inconvenience (see Dr Lucie Green's comment in the link Ray
>kindly supplied) to theoretical physicists, but big, big
>trouble for our entire way of thinking.

I do think there is a tendency to conflate causality with local-
real determinism. The latter enshrines the principle of
contiguous and antecedent cause; but this might apply only to
one self-consistent (neutrino anomalies notwithstanding) half of
the total causal structure. If the underlying (quantum) causal
structure is nonlocal, and if (as we ought to expect) a nonlocal
structure implies an exhaustive cosmic interconnectivity, then
the state at any given here and now could be a statistical
resultant of contributions from all other past _and_ future
states all over the cosmos, instead of merely all past local
states, with the historical classical description that we
experience being merely a self-consistent tempora;l projection.
The fact that we local observers value the predictivity allowed
by an arrow of time does not mean that the cosmos has to care
about it globally. I'd go so far as to say that quantum
entanglement means the causal structure _has_to_be_ like that.
(Yet more speculation....)

>As an aside, I'm increasingly annoyed about the way all this is
>being discussed: the 'Einstein proved Newton wrong and now
>Einstein has been proved wrong' characterisation is such
>rubbish. Einstein showed that Newton hadn't told the whole
>story, and now it looks as though Einstein might not have not
>the whole story. I don't think either of them would have had a
>problem with that. If they were both 'wrong', then I'd like to
>be wrong about a few things too!

I agree (not speculation).

Martin Shough

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