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Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Light fantastic

Scientists who last year claimed that sub-atomic particles called neutrinos had been found to travel six kilometres per second faster than the speed of light have now been made to eat crow.

The neutrinos should have taken 0.0024 seconds to travel from Geneva to Italy, but instead took 0.00000006 seconds. The findings sparked widespread scepticism because they attacked Einstein's theory that the maximum velocity in the universe is the speed of light. The scientists now admit the 60-nanosecond discrepancy which got them so excited “appeared to come from a bad connection between a fibre-optic cable and an electronic card in a computer” and that neutrinos are actually a fibre-optic breakfast cereal. The connection has now been tightened. Good.

There was a time when you used to have to know things – or, at the very least, wear a white coat and have unruly hair - to be a scientist. These days, anybody who makes a cockamamie claim about anything is a scientist. So now seems like a good time to launch my own theory that the moon is not 4.5 billion years old but is in fact only 12. This is every bit as believable as the news circulating last week that Britain was hotter than Algiers.

Global warming! Who needs it?

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