Antonio Ereditato, spokesman for the international group of researchers, said that measurements taken over three years showed neutrinos pumped from CERN near Geneva to Gran Sasso in Italy had arrived 60 nanoseconds quicker than light would have done.
"We have high confidence in our results. We have checked and rechecked for anything that could have distorted our measurements but we found nothing," he said. "We now want colleagues to check them independently."
If confirmed, the discovery would undermine Albert Einstein's 1905 theory of special relativity, which says that the speed of light is a "cosmic constant" and that nothing in the universe can travel faster.
That assertion, which has withstood over a century of testing, is one of the key elements of the so-called Standard Model of physics, which attempts to describe the way the universe and everything in it works.
The totally unexpected finding emerged from research by a physicists working on an experiment dubbed OPERA run jointly by the CERN particle research centre near Geneva and the Gran Sasso Laboratory in central Italy.
-- so reports The Telegraph of London.
I had heard this already from Reuters. I suggested to someone that with the announcement at Cern on Thursday, I had noticed the particle passing by a week ago, taking its leisurely time to make it to the present, which was at that point its future.
It turns out that the particles arrived at the observation post 60 nanoseconds quicker than the speed of light.
The speed of light occupies a special place in Einstein's theory of special relativity. Light travels that velocity no matter the frame of reference: so with velocity having to remain constant in any speed equation, then the only thing that can be changeable in the math is time itself.
So time (not just appearance) became determined by perspective.
Unless, of course, c (the speed of light) is not so constant after all.
Gee, that simple fact that c is not the speed limit it used to be may change just about everything in the current cosmic worldview, even the calculation of red shifts and astronomical measurement.