September 25, 2011 6 Comments
You are if you read my previous post about neutrinos, or really any account of the neutrino experiment that has been published in any of the newspapers I’ve seen
After all, I bet even those of you that didn’t have time for my 3,500 word treatise on the subject picked up on the fact that the scientists were just watching these particles do their thing, measuring their speed as they go about their business, only to discover that this speed was larger than the speed of light. I bet you also know by now that neutrinos can travel through the earth itself, because they’re so unwilling to interact with other matter. If you’re really on the ball you might even know that this is considered a perk: Since neutrinos alone possess this extreme earth-tunneling power, a detector buried deep underground can be certain it’s seeing almost exclusively the neutrinos it wants to see, and not something else like a pion or a cosmic ray.
On the other hand, as some of my Italian friends have pointed out to me, anyone who got their news exclusively from Italian Education Minister Mariastella Gelmini might have a different impression. Here‘s her official statement on the subject, which I would translate as follows: