Faster than Light

A new study may upend Einstein

Photo-Illustration by Jesse Lenz for TIME

Albert Einstein

Physicists have a stock phrase they trot out whenever someone claims to have made an astounding discovery about the universe. "Important," they say, "if true." It's a tactful way of saying, "Don't bet on it." They've been saying that a lot lately.

The reason: a team of European scientists has reportedly clocked a flock of subatomic particles called neutrinos moving at a shade over the speed of light. According to Albert Einstein, that can't be, since light, which cruises along at about 186,000 miles per second (299,000 km/sec.), is the only thing that can go that fast.

If the Europeans are...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!