Here's a conversation topic for nerd-girls: Did the neutrinos at the CERN facility in Switzerland on November 20th, actually travel faster than light, confirming an earlier experiment in September at the same facility? Both experiments, conducted by the OPERA collaboration, had the same results, though the neutrinos were packed more tightly in the second. Here's an article that explains it better than I can:
Of course, scientists all over the world are up in arms about this. I can just picture the scientists who did the experiment jumping up and down with excitement, their thick-rimmed glasses flying in all directions, while their nemeses sourly publish articles about why they must be wrong, angrily jamming their slide rules into their pocket protectors. If OPERA is right, there will be a lot more than sour grapes. Physics will have to start again at 0, because this means that Einstein's theory that nothing can travel faster than light, the famous E=Mc2, is wrong.

This, as my friend Garrison put it, is like the discovery that the world was round instead of flat. Everything we know of as reality will have to shift. Originally, I thought the finding would do nothing more than mess with the TV show The Big Bang Theory, but I was wrong. A gifted Chinese ESL student of mine explained with great clarity how this changes everybody's reality: if neutrinos can travel faster than light, it means (very roughly, and I'll probably get this wrong, so don't yell at me if you're a scientist) that we could perceive light in the past or in the future. That's right. Wait for it. Drum roll other words....TIME TRAVEL!

You see people? I was right all along! Time travel will be possible one day! What a relief for Cassandra, Professor Carver, James and all those scientists in my books, hopping around from one era to another! But seriously, time travel is, indeed, hundreds of years off, if at all, because these CERN experiments have yet to be replicated by other scientific bodies, though both Japan and the U.S. have the capacity to do it and will try in the coming year. And that experiment is merely step one. In the meantime, ponder this: if we can perceive reality in the past or the future, it means that cause and effect have no meaning. Effect could come before cause. Linear time would be irrelevant, and that is what we base our entire reality on.

Get ready to have your minds blown, people. I see this as a major evolution in man's thinking and perception. So hop on, two, three, evolve!
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Published on December 03, 2011 12:20 • 92 views • Tags: cern, faster-than-light, neutrinos, opera
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message 1: by Matt (new)

Matt Posner Hi Georgina. Julie and I are loving your Time Mistress series! And we're not the only ones -- both books are selling really well, so you're really onto something!

My perspective as a writer on time-travel is that, given the obstacles to it in physics (not enough energy can be generated to make it happen) it is better to think in terms of magic. You might call that psychic power if you like. Because psychokinesis per se comes from the interrelation of the human mind with a universal or cosmic mind, the entire energy of the universe is available. But the human scientific model of making things happen by chemically or mechanically converting fuel into energy has its limitations anyway. The paradigm shift you are noting, Georgina, is a valuable one, of course; but then, the next level of paradigm shift, which is not a new one but an improperly explored one scientifically, is scientific/magical thinking.

Jack Finney used this for time travel in his book Time and Again, linked below. It was about mind and concentration. In my books, School of the Ages travels by a combination of this and machinery, but the machinery is really just there to make the story more cool. Really, only the mind is required.

Congratulations again on your well-deserved success!

Time and Again

message 2: by Georgina (new)

Georgina Young-ellis Very cool comment! I love when people more knowledgeable than I on matters of science and physics engage in these discussions about time-travel. I am completely enamored of how the time-travel occurs in your first book in the School of the Ages series. I love that idea of concentration or psychokinesis to achieve time-travel. Thanks for sharing and for the wonderful support of my writing!

message 3: by Matt (new)

Matt Posner The best science show on time travel that I have seen is the Into the Wormhole episode on the topic. But I think it is the wonderful characters and their problems that matter most in any genre, time travel or otherwise, and that is what you have focused on so well in your books and what I care about most as well. That's what makes a reader keep turning the pages -- caring about the characters, whether Cassandra (yours) or Simon (mine) or Elizabeth Darcy or Frodo Baggins or Jane Eyre or Harry Potter or (blam) ...

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