Saturday, November 19, 2011

Consistent Neutrinos and More Bad Science Reporting

A refined version of the neutrino experiment produced the same results and eliminated hypotheses involving mistaken identity of the neutrinos. Neutrinos again traveled faster than would be expected under the conventional scientific view of space, time, particles, rocks, geometry, and geography.

The new neutrino observations are an important development because neutrinos can’t be reliably identified. There are several types of neutrinos, but a group of neutrinos can’t carry an identifying signal because neutrinos change their identity frequently through a mechanism that is not well understood. Experimenters compensated by generating much smaller bursts of neutrinos so that there was less room for statistical doubt about which neutrinos were which.

As before, there were embarrassing headlines about “faster than light” travel. This is the logical error known as “assuming the conclusion,” which involves using an intended conclusion as the starting point for an argument. Light, of course, was not included in the neutrino experiment, and scientifically it cannot be said that light and neutrinos travel at different speeds until there is an experiment that generates and measures light and neutrinos together. No one is even proposing such an experiment. The fallacy of assuming the conclusion could be seen in various other forms in the reporting on the neutrino experiment. It goes to show how mind-bending this particular experimental result is.

If reputable physicists are saying that it is better not to speculate about the results, it is not that they are stonewalling. There have not been many measurements of the speed of neutrinos going long distances through solid materials, and a better picture of what is happening will be possible after such measurements are made in more places and under a greater variety of circumstances.