EDP Sciences

Vol. 537
In section 1. Letters

Are OPERA neutrinos faster than light because of non-inertial reference frames?

by C. Germanà, A&A 538, L5


In Oct. 2011, the OPERA collaboration reported measuring apparently superluminal velocities for terrestrial accelerator generated neutrinos. The possible significance of, and controversy surrounding, this announcement makes this Letter especially important. The author shows that the reported delay between the expected photon and neutrino arrival times can be explained by the effects of transforming from an Earth based clock to an inertial frame. To demonstrate this, the ensemble of events is simulated using the OPERA-reported integration windows and the pulsar-timing package Tempo2 to model the transformation between UTC and solar system barycentric reference frames. The Letter makes a strong prediction that the delay switches sign depending on the season (all OPERA integrations were done in the same period of the year) and that the measurements as an ensemble actually provide a strong test of general relativity, if corrected for this sampling "bias".