US Lab to Test Light-Speed Neutrinos

America's most powerful physics experiment, the Fermilab particle accelerator in Batavia, Illinois, is planning to test the results of a European experiment that claims to have seen the impossible.

What's the Latest Development?


America's most powerful physics experiment, the Fermilab particle accelerator in Batavia, Illinois, is set to test the controversial conclusion of a European lab which claimed to observe neutrinos breaking the speed of light. Neutrinos, a slippery subatomic particle, are extremely difficult to detect so a dual beam of them will be shot through two detectors: one at Fermilab and the other at a mine in Minnesota some 735 kilometers away. In addition to measuring the speed of the neutrinos, the experiment will also assess 'neutrino oscillation'.

What's the Big Idea?

The American physics community heaved a collective sigh after Fermilab closed its most powerful acceleratorthough the laboratory houses nine othershanding the distinction of having the world's most powerful machine to Europe's Large Hadron Collider at CERN, outside Geneva. When spring arrives, the LHC will resume its hunt for the Higgs boson, a particle thought to endow matter with mass. But no one lab can do it all and Fermilab is looking to innovate in experiments which require less overall power but greater energy intensities.

Photo credit: Besselfunctions/Wikimedia Commons

Related Articles

How schizophrenia is linked to common personality type

Both schizophrenics and people with a common personality type share similar brain patterns.

(shutterstock)
Mind & Brain
  • A new study shows that people with a common personality type share brain activity with patients diagnosed with schizophrenia.
  • The study gives insight into how the brain activity associated with mental illnesses relates to brain activity in healthy individuals.
  • This finding not only improves our understanding of how the brain works but may one day be applied to treatments.
Keep reading Show less

Human skeletal stem cells isolated in breakthrough discovery

It's a development that could one day lead to much better treatments for osteoporosis, joint damage, and bone fractures.

Image: Nissim Benvenisty
Surprising Science
  • Scientists have isolated skeletal stem cells in adult and fetal bones for the first time.
  • These cells could one day help treat damaged bone and cartilage.
  • The team was able to grow skeletal stem cells from cells found within liposuctioned fat.
Keep reading Show less

How exercise helps your gut bacteria

Gut bacteria play an important role in how you feel and think and how well your body fights off disease. New research shows that exercise can give your gut bacteria a boost.

National Institutes of Health
Surprising Science
  • Two studies from the University of Illinois show that gut bacteria can be changed by exercise alone.
  • Our understanding of how gut bacteria impacts our overall health is an emerging field, and this research sheds light on the many different ways exercise affects your body.
  • Exercising to improve your gut bacteria will prevent diseases and encourage brain health.
Keep reading Show less