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as there's so many papers on the opera result and it's a struggle flicking through them all combined with my limited knowledge meaning I cannot well differentiate silly nonsensical papers from ones with much more substance; could anybody sum up for me what papers or theories put forward which could decently explain how neutrinos could be superluminal (assuming the result is correct)

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Somewhat related: physics.stackexchange.com/questions/14982/… –  David Z Dec 1 '11 at 7:46
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There have been a lot of papers passing through the arXiv (and elsewhere) that purport to explain superluminal neutrinos in one way or another. Personally, although I'm not a neutrino expert, I'm not inclined to take any of them seriously.

First of all, the OPERA result has not actually been reproduced independently, at a different experimental facility, so it's still just an isolated data point in the grand scheme of things - it's highly premature to be assuming the result is correct. Also, one can make a relatively simple theoretical justification that if the neutrinos really were traveling faster than light, they should have suffered energy losses from lepton Cerenkov radiation (here's a nice non-technical explanation). Any theory that purports to explain the superluminal neutrinos has to explain the fact that no such energy losses were observed, and my impression is that nobody has managed to do so convincingly.

So in summary, I would say no, there are no reasonable attempts to explain the OPERA result (using "reasonable" as the opposite of "highly speculative"). But as I've said, I'm not a neutrino expert, so take that with a grain of salt.

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