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Does anyone know how is the distance between detectors in the now famous neutrino experiment measured? Also, how was the time of flight measured?

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We really should convince the US military to bring in one of their GPS receviers, the ones that can use the high-precision encrypted signals. They seem to be able to hit targets at distances over 700 km – MSalters Sep 29 '11 at 14:28
I'd like to know this too. Was it just done with GPS or did they send anything between the two sites? – Martin Ueding Oct 15 '11 at 11:34
Note that there isn't a "detector" at the accelerator site in the same sense as there is one at Gran Sasso. They're using the pick-off beam current monitors. – dmckee Mar 21 '12 at 19:24

GPS sattelites are not in sync in the Einstein way because

Synchronisation around the circumference of a rotating disk gives a non vanishing time difference that depends on the direction used.

As each sat must be in sync with the one at left side and the one at right side and all with all they share a common time (universal pre-calculated). The GPS system appears to be like an 'instant observer'. The speed of light that is in use in the GPS system is the mean speed of light in a closed path. For a non-Einstein referential (a different synchronization) a complete study of the properties of the light/observer system must be used as was done here and the 'one-way' light speed must be calculated and used. This way the errors will vanish.

The error between using a mean speed or the 'one-way' speed to calculate distances is irrelevant in usual circunstances but not in this stringent situation.

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I know that time of flight isn't a problem at all. GPS satellites broadcast an extremely accurate timestamp regularly; that alone will get you within microseconds. You can set up an atomic clock driven countdown weeks in advance and use radio based methods to synchronize things up.

Once you have timestamps, distance isn't much of a problem either. Measure the exact time a gamma ray burst is observed at each location. Do that a few times.

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That is not how it is done in the actual experiment--- and gamma ray bursts is not a good way to measure anything with precision. The satellite's signals have to be corrected for the location, the location has to take into account abberation, and the whole exercize is riddled with systematic errors. – Ron Maimon Sep 28 '11 at 5:55

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