December 31, 2011 | 11
2011 has been a busy year for particle physicists. They’ve found a new particle, closed in on the elusive Higgs boson, and witnessed some neutrinos acting pretty strangely, amongst other things. I’m talking, of course, about the faster than light neutrinos detected by the Opera experiment in Italy. They dominated the science headlines for a few days at the end of September and have been popping up every now and then since as scientists try to grapple with the idea that Einstein’s theory of special relativity may not be as watertight as they would like to think.
In order to make sense of the finding, I collected together lots of the coverage and papers concerning the result and had a go with interactive timeline making tool dipity.com. Have a look at the timeline below. You can zoom in on particular weeks and days, to see the detail of who published what and when, or you can zoom out for a broader overview of how the story unfolded. This is very much a work in progress and I plan to add to it as and when new events occur. If there’s something I haven’t included that you think should be on there please let me know in the comments.
If you need a refresher on how Opera experiment found this result, have a watch of the video by Minute Physics below, which provides a nice and simple explanation.
All that remains for me to say is happy new year to those already in 2012, and I’ll see the rest of you on the other side.