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Leaders of controversial neutrino experiment step down


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Leaders of controversial neutrino experiment step down

Spokesperson Antonio Ereditato of the University of Bern in Switzerland turned in Adidas Originals by Originals Jeremy Scott JS Bones his resignation on 29 March, and physics coordinator Dario Autiero of the Institute of Nuclear Physics in Lyon, France, resigned on 30 March. Both cited tensions within the collaboration as the reason for their departures.In September, the OPERA collaboration reported that they had measured neutrinos making the 730-kilometre trip from CERN in Switzerland to the Gran Sasso underground laboratory in Italy 60 nanoseconds faster than if they had been travelling at light speed.If it panned out, the result would have turned much of modern physics on its head, contradicting Einstein’s theory of special relativity and opening the theoretical door to exotic possibilities like extra dimensions and time travel.

The result, however, seems to be down to experimental error. OPERA announced last month that they had found a malfunctioning clock and a leaky fibre-optic cable that could explain part or all of the neutrinos’ extra speed. And another experiment in the same underground cavern in Italy, ICARUS, re-did the Adidas Originals By Jeremy Scott JS Camo Wings same measurement and saw no deviation from the speed of light.Because of the high stakes, some members of the 170-person OPERA collaboration thought the team should have kept the result under wraps longer as they worked through possible sources of error. Others disagreed, arguing that announcing the result would allow it to be studied by other groups.

“We received a lot of criticism” about announcing the result, says Stanco. “I was part of this criticism.” Stanco did not sign the first draft of the scientific manuscript reporting the measurement because he thought it was too preliminary.The conflicts continued, and on 28 March, the OPERA collaboration held a vote on whether or not to continue supporting Ereditato as the head and public face of the collaboration. The vote took place at a workshop where the various experiments conducted at the Gran Sasso lab presented and discussed their findings.The vote of no-confidence needed two-thirds of the votes to pass, and only got about 2NE1 x Adidas Originals By Jeremy Scott JS Collage Wings 55 per cent, Stanco says. But a day later, Ereditato decided to resign on his own.Too much internal strife could distract from the “scientific objectives and the formidable challenges of a leading-edge experiment”, he wrote. “This is a risk too great to run. To avert it, the position of individuals must take a back seat.”

On Friday, Autiero stepped down as well, saying the neutrino result had fanned the flames of an already fraught working environment. “These kinds of tensions always existed in the collaboration, for at least 10 years,” Autiero says. “I was not able to ensure the efficiency of my role, so this is why I resigned.”Autiero says announcing the neutrino result when they did was unavoidable. “It was impossible at a certain point to hide it outside,” Autiero says. “People were leaking the information” on blogs before the public seminar where Autiero discussed the measurement.

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  • Posted On March 31, 2012
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