From our childhood days, we have studied that nothing in this planet travels faster than light. It has been defined as the ultimate speed in our universe. This has been backed up by many experiments, tests and measurements in many ways possible.
But all these remain as just theories, as a simple neutrino transfer experiment conducted by physicists at The European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) from their headquarters in Geneva to Gran Sasso Laboratory in Italy (732 kilometres away), proved to be faster than light speed.
The neutrinos had some special characteristics and did not interact with normal matter. As a result, they already predicted that the neutrons would travel fast. Their main aim was to test the frequency of oscillations when the transmission of neutrinos from the source changes its characteristics, as soon as it reaches the destination in Italy. This was when the researchers found something odd with the experiment. The neutrinos reached the destination in a few billionths of a second early. This time proved to be faster than the time of travel of light emitted from Geneva to Gran Sasso.
This is not an isolated anomaly, but has been going on for years. The team has now measured some 14,000 batches of neutrinos coming across that distance, and they say theyâ€™ve reached a point where the statistical significance is such that, were they trying to prove anything else, it would count as a formal scientific discovery. But, whatever may be the result, they are not able to back up the fact with any scientific evidence.
Nobody, least of all the researchers involved, is ready to call the Standard Modelâ€™s upper speed limit busted just yet. But as they do not have any scientific proof to what happened, they are ready t share their new discovery to a wider scientific community. As this new phenomenon has been taken seriously by all researchers around the globe, we will have to wait and see if anyone can produce a satisfactory answer.