[time-nuts] Neutrino timing

Tom Van Baak tvb at LeapSecond.com
Mon Oct 24 19:08:20 EDT 2011

> I am not familiar with the experiment, so I have to ask some dumb questions:


Or, you could say "I am not familiar with the experiment, so I have
to spend a few minutes to find out for myself" ;-)

There are numerous popular articles about the issue. If you are
technically inclined read the original paper here:
The PDF file is 

Or start with the CERN press release:

In addition you can find many details on the timing system at:

> First, I wonder how the "beam" is generated at the source, and then 

They come in bursts as you suggested.

> The next question is whether that 60 nSec or so measurement is 
> "sharp," or is it the mean value of a large, wide distribution of 

See the wonderful plots in the paper.

> The final question for now is how big is the detector? As I 

The detector is not the liquid kind you're thinking of. But it is
very large with lots of detectors and calibrated delays.

Do a google image search for: OPERA Gran Sasso detector
Several high resolution photos are:

Finally this drawing nicely shows the scale too:
(from the excellent page: http://w3.iihe.ac.be/opera/)


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