Sunday, January 8, 2012

March 20, 2012, NY: 2012 Isaac Asimov Memorial Debate: Faster Than the Speed of Light

From the American Museum of Natural History: 2012 Isaac Asimov Memorial Debate: Faster Than the Speed of Light

Einstein's Theory of Special Relativity has been tested with ever-increasing precision since its publication in 1905. One of its key predictions is that only light itself can travel at the speed of light. While the theory does not forbid particles from moving faster, such particles must be traveling backward in time.

Two recent papers by a large consortium of physicists using the world's most powerful accelerator are claiming the discovery of neutrinos moving at speeds slightly in excess of the speed of light. If confirmed, this would be one of the greatest breakthroughs in the history of physics. Our understanding of space, time, mass, and energy all hang in the balance until we know who is right.

This year's Isaac Asimov Memorial Debate will pit some of the experimentalists who claim to have discovered faster-than-light neutrinos against their strongest critics, as well as other teams that are racing to replicate or disprove the extraordinary claims.

Café on One will offer refreshments for purchase before the event from 6 to 7:15 pm.

The late Dr. Isaac Asimov, one of the most prolific and influential authors of our time, was a dear friend and supporter of the American Museum of Natural History. In his memory, the Hayden Planetarium is honored to host the annual Isaac Asimov Memorial Debate-generously endowed by relatives, friends, and admirers of Isaac Asimov and his work-bringing the finest minds in the world to the Museum each year to debate pressing questions on the frontier of scientific discovery. Proceeds from ticket sales of the Isaac Asimov Memorial Debate benefit the scientific and educational programs of the Hayden Planetarium.

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