Einstein’s Theory Undone? – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Einstein’s Theory Undone?


Even those unfamiliar with most principles of physics can identify the equation E=mc2, Albert Einstein’s statement that mass is a measure of energy content. Most significantly, that equation, which has become synonymous with Einstein’s genius, is integral to the Theory of Relativity. However, in a shocking announcement, scientists from the European Center for Particle Physics and the Italian National Institute for Nuclear Physics say that they have detected particles that move faster than light – a revelation that could shatter Einstein’s theory.

The physics community worldwide is afire with questions in light of the monumental news, and as a result, the discovery has garnered much media attention – and confusion. On Tuesday, Oct. 4, Professor Don Spector, Associate Professor Ted Allen, Associate Professor Steve Penn and Assistant Professor Josh Nollenberg of the HWS Physics Department will join forces to attempt to answer questions about the implications of such a discovery.

The panel, which will meet at 4:30 p.m. in Eaton 110, will address such questions as: Have faster-than-light particles really been observed? If this result is correct, how revolutionary would it be? What could this finding mean for relativity, causality, and time travel? The professors will also explain how the experiment was carried out and what possible errors may be hiding in the analysis. The presentation is designed for a general audience.