08:22 PM September 22nd, 2011
The blogosphere is ablaze with news that they seem to have detected neutrinos traveling faster than light. If true, it would be the biggest science news of the century, overturning one of the most fundamental concepts in physics. There is obviously much skepticism amongst scientists. For a typically insightful explanation, check out Bad Astronomer Phil Plait‘s post: Faster-than-light travel discovered? Slow down, folks
@sc_k Maybe we need to counterbalance the HEP blogohedron with a Twitter meme? e.g., #mundaneneutrinoexplanations
Then he spun out a few funny examples of more mundane explanations for the unusual neutrino measurement:
- #CERN physicists did arithmetic on old Pentium computers
- #CERN physicists let undergrads near the experiment
- Calculations done by visiting Americans who still don’t get the metric system.
… all with the #mundaneneutrinoexplanations hashtag appended.
I think I was the first one to follow his lead with:
- Forgot to carry the one
- Confused neutrino with one sent later
- Study published by Wakefield et al
Then @drskyskull and @physicsdavid and others joined in (even astophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson and the Bad Astronomer) and, before you know it, the Twitterverse was alive with funny explanations, some of which may be as likely as superluminal neutrinos. I ended up spitting out about 25 of them, which I present here, as they were tweeted, in reverse chronological order (so start from the bottom). Enjoy!