Back in September, CERN
dropped the improbable news
about its faster-than-light neutrinos, causing eggheads worldwide to cry foul
. Understandable really, as if true, a lot of what we think we know about the universe essentially falls apart. So, expect severe bouts of head-scratching once more, as a second round of experiments from the same OPERA collaborative has reported similar results. The initial experiments used a long chain of neutrinos, fired from point A to B. Skeptics claimed that this might have introduced an element of uncertainty to the results -- the new tests used much shorter blasts, meaning that if they arrived just as quickly, then this potential cause for error is scratched out. The new data still needs to undergo the usual peer review, and other possible causes for error remain. For now though, it looks like one of the main arguments against has been addressed, making the Einstein-challenging neutrinos one step closer (or is that ahead?) to re-writing the rule book.