Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Just Passing Through

Environmental & Science Education
by Edward Hessler

Neutrinos have no mass, no charge and no energy. They can do a very odd thing. They pass through "stuff" (matter mostly) unimpeded, including us, without almost any interaction. When they do interact they give off energy which is how they are detected.

First neutrino observation [Wikimedia]

So how do they pull this off? Symmetry provides a short explanation from a Fermi Laboratory physicist speaking over an animation.

Here is the Wiki entry on neutrinos. IceCube is the South Pole Neutrino observatory, a collaboration consisting of 300 members, 48 institutions (includes the University of Wisconsin and the University of Wisconsin River Falls)  and 12 countries. The home page provides all kinds of information about the research as well as life there.

Can't leave without a couple of somewhat lame neutrino jokes.

— A neutrino walks into a bar and orders a drink. He asks the bartender for his bill and the bartender says, "For you, there's no charge."

— A neutrino walks into a bar and orders a beer. The bartender says, "we don't serve neutrinos here." The neutrino says "I was just passing through."

Thanks for the jokes.

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