Thursday, 22 September 2011

Faster than a speeding neutrino

Sadly I was still writing my own posting while Hnaef was posting his on women bishops moving faster than the speed of light. Which caused me momentarily to wonder whether this blog is also moving at the speed of light or possibly slightly faster.

But on reflection it's more likely the result of two people doing one thing each, at roughly the same time. A co-incidence. Or a "Moon-incidence", as we call it round here. I'd think it was spooky if it so clearly wasn't.

But I've given the matter some thought. The matter of speeding neutrinos, that is. Not the matter of women bishops. Which is, in my opinion, an open-and-shut case - possibly one of those cases that are larger on the inside, which bishops traditionally pack with a chasuble, mitre, alb, Bishop's Chaplain, Book of Ecclesiastical Misdemeanours and their crozier, and yet which fit in the glove compartment of a Fiat Panda. Anyway. Back to the case in point. Which is not the bishop's case. No. The speeding neutrinos.

So my first reaction is that the experimenters are almost certainly wrong. My old Chemistry tutor, a fine man and keen brain and good hockey player in his day, memorably put it like this - "Whenever somebody tells you Einstein was wrong, it's a good idea not to believe them."

And so how can I explain the problem? My first thought was that they just haven't allowed for the rotation of the earth - a bit like the time Marston Moretaine thought he'd time-travelled forward an hour, but he'd just gone to France on holiday. But the maths are a bit beyond me on this one, so my second theory is that CERN have put the story out to hide the Higgs Boson - or rather the lack of it, the Higgs Boson itself being very well hidden as it turns out. Need some kind of good-news story on fundamental physics, they may have thought. and breaking the speed of light is a bit more impressive than losing a fundamental particle. Then my third theory is that it's margin of error. Arrive 60 billionths of a second quicker than they expected - I reckon they're just not quick enough on the stopwatch.

Back on the subject of women bishops, however. I think the lack of women bishops in England today is proof of the non-existence of time-travelling neutrinos, or else proof that there will never be women bishops. As if in the future there are both women bishops and time travel, I reckon they'd time-travel the women bishops back to 1835 Oxford. That would put the cat among the pigeons for Forward in Faith. And might give John Henry Newman a whole new perspective on things.

1 comment :

  1. I reckon that in Italy the neutrinos have learned, as I have, to drive like Italians! Either that or they were in a hurry to escape women bishops, or rather Calvinist Geneva where they don't have bishops at all, and follow Newman over to Rome where such things would never be allowed - but their exit from the autostrada was blocked by an episcopal Fiat Panda so they ended up at Gran Sasso. Or something like that.


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