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Physicists have replicated the finding that the subatomic particles called neutrinos seem to travel faster than light. It is a remarkable confirmation of a stunning result, yet most in the field remain sceptical that the ultimate cosmic speed limit has truly been broken.

The collaboration behind the experiment, called OPERA (Oscillation Project with Emulsion-tracking Apparatus), made headlines in September with its claim that a beam of neutrinos made the 730-kilometer journey from CERN, Europe's particle-physics lab near Geneva in Switzerland, to the Gran Sasso National Laboratory near L'Aquila, Italy, faster than the speed of light. The result defies Albert Einstein's special theory of relativity, which states that this cannot happen.

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