For years, Einstein’s theories have held true through countless scientific discoveries and trials. Some scientists have been determined to disprove a fundamental law stating that the speed of light couldn’t be broken, but recent discoveries by an international team of scientists appear to have done just that. Subatomic particles have been measured traveling at a greater speed than that of light, and the results appear consistent and reliable enough to take to the greater scientific community for confirmation.

Scientists Find Particles That Break the Speed of LightDuring a three-year study, scientists shot 15,000 beams of neutrinos across a distance of 500 miles. If it were a beam of light, the distance would have been closed in 2.4 thousandths of a second. The neurons arrived at their destination 60 billionths of a second faster than that, meaning that they broke the speed of light during travel.

Einstein’s theory of special relativity states that the speed of light is a constant, and no physical matter could break this barrier. If confirmed, these findings could change the very basis of scientific knowledge on the Universe and how it works. For over a century, Einstein’s theory has held up against countless scientific studies and attempts of disproval. Because of its steadfast nature, the idea of achieving breakthroughs including time travel and distant galactic travel within a human lifespan seems impossible. Earlier this year, a group of scientists announced that time travel was scientifically impossible, based on the belief that the light barrier could never be broken.

If these findings are confirmed, it could rekindle interest in those areas of research that may eventually lead to the creation of technologies previously believed to be impossible. Could the very technologies that form today’s science fiction — including Star Trek’s warp drive and time travel — someday be possible? Above all, it could encourage the entire scientific community to rethink the principles on which so many other theories are founded, including many surrounding the creation of the Universe.