Jim al-Khalili’s dignity is safe for now

Remember those breathless news reports of neutrinos apparently travelling a tad faster than the speed of light, and thereby threatening to undo more than a century of modern physics? You should do, as it was only a few months ago that the news broke.

Well, it seems that the 60 nanosecond discrepancy which gave rise to all the excitement was the result of a loose cable connecting a control computer with the GPS receiver delivering timing data. Shoulders are shrugged, and science goes on.

This new finding has yet to be confirmed categorically, but celebrity physicist Jim al-Khalili, who promised to dine on his Y-fronts had the original faster-than-light result been confirmed, will rest easy. Einstein’s axiom that the speed of light in a vacuum is a constant 298 million metres per second is safe. For now.