Leading article: On collision course

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If there is one thing more heartening than a scientist whose experiments have proved a hypothesis beyond all doubt, it is a scientist who admits utter bafflement when the results come in.

Step forward Antonio Ereditato of Cern – and no condescending remarks about Italian science. Galileo, remember him?

From its earliest chequered days, the Large Hadron Collider has posed what might be described at very least as challenges. Now that it has yielded evidence apparently showing that subatomic particles can travel faster than light, it could be on the way to overturning a century of physics. Or not.

With commendable modesty, Ereditato has described his results as "crazy" and called on scientists the world over to contest them. We sympathise. Depriving the world of the one modern scientific theory everyone thought they knew would make a colossal dent in our self-esteem. In the meantime, all those parents who have brought their infants up on Baby Einstein might be well advised to develop a contingency plan. Just in case.

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