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I'm extremely confident that there's an unexpected, and subtle, systematic error in either the raw data or in OPERA's analysis(preprint arXiv:1109.4897). I've done some back-of-the-envelope calculations for the obvious things (e.g., surface distance vs. line-of-sight) and the obvious things are the wrong order of magnitude. So I don't believe this group has made any obvious or elementary mistake.
Neutrino detection is a very hard problem. Doing coincidences with widely separated detectors is a very hard problem. Doing both at the same time, with a timing precision of nanoseconds, is hard squared!
I'm especially reassured by the three-dimensional GPS measurements of the L'Aquila (Gran Sasso) site (Fig. 7, page 10). The very small uncertainty in the measurements is clear from the scatter along the trend lines, and is just a few cm in each direction. The beautiful systematic trend of plate tectonics, with the theta-function from the earthquake in the middle, both give me confidence that they have good data in hand.
There are references in the preprint for how the geodetic surveys at each end were done, and how they translate the two sets of local coordinates into a common frame of reference (to get the baseline distance measurement).
You can read some of the scientific journals' reports:
You can find other discussions of the paper and its (non-)implications in several of the good science blogs, including
Posted:Sep 25, 2011
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