CERN scientists claim to have observed neutrinos exceeding the speed of light.
The OPERA neutrino experiment at the underground Gran Sasso Laboratory has measured the velocity of neutrinos from the CERN CNGS beam over a baseline of about 730 km with much higher accuracy than previous studies conducted with accelerator neutrinos.
CNGS muon neutrinos were measured arriving 60 nanoseconds sooner than the time calculated for the speed of light.
A time of flight measurement with small systematic uncertainties was made possible by a series of accurate metrology techniques.
The data analysis took also advantage of a large sample of about 16000 neutrino interaction events detected by OPERA.
Despite the large significance of the measurement reported and the stability of the analysis, the potentially great impact of the result motivates the continuation of the studies in order to investigate possible still unknown systematic effects that could explain the observed anomaly.
The researchers deliberately do not attempt any theoretical or phenomenological interpretation of the results in their paper.
The assertion that the speed of light cannot be exceeded is one of the key elements of the Standard Model of physics, which attempts to describe the way the universe and everything in it works.