The speed of light is a sort of cosmic speed limit- nothing can travel faster than 299,792,458 metres (983,571,056 feet) per second. In 2011, a team of scientists at CERN announced beams of neutrinos had beaten the speed of light by about 60 billionths of a second. Under Einstein’s theory of special relativity, if something can move faster than the speed of light, it can also travel back in time. Physicists have based a lot of big theories on the value of the speed of light, so if CERN scientists were accurate, there could have been major implications. However, in June 2012, after extensive testing, the researchers confirmed the anomalous result was down to a fault in the fibre-optic timing system.
Remember, these theories are just a way of explaining how the universe works-it was working by itself long before Einstein et al came along to explain it. Life would still go on without theories.
Answer by Shanna Freeman
Images credit Nasa/ESA