Scientists at the Cern research centre in Switzerland are to publish results that appear to show subatomic particles travelling faster than the speed of light.

This news could threaten one of the fundamental laws of physics if it is proved to be correct.

Einstein’s special theory of relativity depends on the fact that nothing in the universe can exceed the speed of light.

In this experiment, neutrinos sent from Cern, home of the large hadron collider, to the Gran Sasso laboratory in Italy appeared to arrive a few billionths of a second sooner than light would have.

However, the group responsible for the findings have reacted cautiously despite spending a significant amount of time looking for any mistakes. The team are aware that systematic errors could mean that the results are incorrect but they have been unable to find any thus far.

The results of the study will now be posted online so that it can be scrutinised by other scientists.

If the discovery is true, it would be a revolutionary one for modern physics and could even suggest that time travel is possible.