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Albert Einstein was wrong? Then there is nothing like perfect research!

Updated on October 15, 2011
Albert Einstein proved wrong! Neutonis travel faster than light
Albert Einstein proved wrong! Neutonis travel faster than light

There is no hope of doing perfect research

The law of relativity is a principle of physics that made Albert Einstein to be labeled one of the most brilliant scientists that has ever walked planet earth. The law stated that there is nothing that could possibly travel faster than the speed of light. It is this very law that has in recent weeks been questioned by researchers at CERN, Geneva. The scientists reportedly discovered some very tiny particles called neutrinos, which actually travel faster than light (Read the full story on new-york times here). What more can i say except that research will never be perfect?

Even from a definition point of view, the term research implies a weakness in the process.The word Research is formed by combining two words, the prefix re and the root word search. According to, the word search means to inquire, investigate, examine, or seek; conduct an examination or investigation. Re on the other hand usually means doing afresh or starting again. Why would you want to investigate again something that has already been investigated? Well, its because you are hoping to find something that the original researcher hadn't seen. In other words, you are hoping he wasn't perfect.

There are two broad categories of research. Qualitative and quantitative. Qualitative research is mainly concerned with opinions of persons involved in the research. This can be in terms of their views or their preferences. The problem with this type of research is that these views and preferences are always changing with time. For instance, its not uncommon for one to change his political party. The result is that findings of a research done over a certain period of time might turn out to be the direct opposite of a similar research done in the same place sampling the same people.

The second category of research is the quantitative research. Quantitative research usually employs various scientific tools and software to manipulate and interpret data. It however, often depends on the data gathered in a qualitative survey. Quantitative research usually has a higher degree of accuracy as opposed to qualitative research since its a largely scientific process. However, the accuracy of the findings is hugely dependent on the data used. It's a perfect scenario of GIGO- garbage in garbage out. What makes validity of data hard to establish is the fact that it is limited to the accuracy and reliability of the sampled data.

Ideally, if the measurements presented are reliable, they will most probably be valid. If the measurements are however not reliable, then validity of the data can not suffice. If a measurement has high reliability, observed scores will be very close to their true scores. For one to be able to determine how reliable a research is there is a need of looking at the variance in the scores in question. The variance from the true scores plus the variance from the measurement error will give us the total variance in the set of scores.

In other words, even after applying scientific computations on data, there are still no perfect findings. The best we can do is getting a highly probable finding. A practical example is a weather man on a news channel who might report, “last week it was an average of 35° but this week it’s an average of 70°­- twice as hot.” What the weather reporter has done is he has transformed the data by multiplying 35° by two. This multiplication by two may be generally accepted but it is still not scientific

A researcher usually makes his findings based on relationship of the data and the property that he/she is interested in. In as much as statistical software like SPSS will readily compute a standard deviation on the ordinal data, the conclusions that will be arrived at after looking at the numbers might be bogus and this could ultimately result in making of wrong decisions. Research should therefore leave a window that allows further research to add more knowledge to what has already been discovered. The fact that Einstein’s relativity theory has been found wanting is a good indicator that there is indeed nothing like perfect research.


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    • James Agbogun profile image

      James Agbogun 5 years ago

      It used to be Newton's Mechanics which evidently was accepted for over two hundred years. The atomic theory had to pass from Thompson's spherical concept through Dalton's, Rutherford's, Bohr's, to the modern Atomic Theory. What ever is the conclusion from the CERN experiment, Einstein's relalativity will play a major role just as we have to study preceding laws before arriving at the modern theory.

    • ronhi profile image

      ronhi 5 years ago from Kenya

      James, you are right. We cant throw the birth with the baby water. Einstein will still remain one of the great fathers of physics. Thanks for your valuable feedback

    • Mr. Smith profile image

      Mr. Smith 5 years ago from California

      I think it's important to remember that Einstein's work was almost completely in theory, and that this Geneva experiment with neutrinos has not yet been verified. Das was quick to speculate in the NY Times article on the future of travel if it is proven that light speed can be exceeded. Our imaginations have been there for decades as our movies and literature indicate.

      Fermi's work was in both theory and experiment. It's interesting that some of the experimental work is progressing some 56 or 57 years after these men died.

      Great Hub, ronhi!

    • ronhi profile image

      ronhi 5 years ago from Kenya

      Mr. Smith, thanks for stopping by. I think the most fascinating thing about science is there is always something new we will learn. And yes, the good ideas usually outlive the men that birthed them. I appreciate your feedback

    • profile image

      newday98033 5 years ago

      Einstein's theory is based on the idea that one's perception of space is governed by mass.

      For example: Imagine one is looking at a galaxy, as if it existed within a cardboard box on the floor in front of you. A large star moves (movement defined as a change of perceived space of an object) inside the cardboard box, edging from one side of the box toward the other. To you, it is barely moving.

      However from that galactic viewopint the star would have to be at nearly light speed. (In fact you could not see even near light speed change of space for some time.)

      Now let's say one is on earth, looking at the same relative size thing, moving. Let's say it is traveling, relatively to your earth viewpoint, 1000 times faster than the sun is to that larger viewoint. It would still be moving slowly, but perhaps fast enough to see it move.

      Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity (backed up by "real world" science) means that the galaxy sized viewpoint is experiencing thousands of centuries in minutes, relative to earth viewpoints. By the time that super meteor moves a "relative" foot, dinosaurs have come and gone. But on earth, perhaps an hour has passed.

      That is just a rule of the box we live in. The relatively smaller one's viewpoint of space, the slower relative time passes. The reason is time does not exist as time. It exists as things moving through space. So if one "sees" larger the things one is seeing are covering more relative space, and more time has passed. Relatively.

      It also assumes that, to have that larger viewpoint, one would have to exist as mass. A galactic sized viewpoint would have to be as massive as a galazy. So E=Mc2. And so hydrogen bombs, which operate by getting very small particles moving at very fast speeds.

      It is likely that a viewpoint does not have to have mass, so perceived rules of this box may change, according to one's viewpoint. But relativity as motion is not likely to drop out until one sees oneself as relative. Then instantaneous movement and such can exist. My opinion.

    • ronhi profile image

      ronhi 5 years ago from Kenya

      @newday98...,That's one long comment :) Maybe you should make it a hub. But thanks for your feedback. I like your way of reasoning. Makes me want to post this comment immediately and go to your profile ASAP:)

    • nishlaverz profile image

      nishlaverz 5 years ago from N.E England

      Possible flaws in the experiment

      In my view GPS is not always if ever very accurate. In fact my GPS is always about a mile or more out. This could cause errors in measuring distance and time taken to travel.

      Using Special Relativity to explain the results.

      How Special Relativity can be used to explain the results.

      The explanation has to do with a different problem related to the GPS Satellites that I have already said could be the cause of flawed results.

      What the OPERA experiment did not factor in was the relativistic motion of the Satellites in relation to the experiment.

      The Satellites move west to east inclined at 55 degrees to the equator. This is about the same as the neutrino flight path. This makes their relative motion easy to calculate.

      What does this mean?

      It means that the position of the satellites relative to CERN and LNGS is constantly changing. If you were an observer on board the satellite you would say that the detector was moving towards the source. Making you think that the distance traveled was less than what is observed on the ground.

      So this could expline why the experiment showed the neutrino’s had traveled faster than light even though they probably traveled at or just below the speed of light.

      Read Full article at:

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