NA61/SHINE gives neutrino experiments a helping hand

Neutrinos are the lightest of all the known particles that have mass. Yet their behavior as they travel could help answer one of the greatest puzzles in physics: why the present-day universe is made mostly of matter when ...

Researchers set new upper limit on neutrino mass

An international team of researchers has used a new spectrometer to find and set an upper limit for the mass of a neutrino. In their paper published in the journal Physical Review Letters, the group describes how they came ...

How do you make the world's most powerful neutrino beam?

What do you need to make the most intense beam of neutrinos in the world? Just a few magnets and some pencil lead. But not your usual household stuff. After all, this is the world's most intense high-energy neutrino beam, ...

Neutrino produced in a cosmic collider far away

The neutrino event IceCube 170922A, detected at the IceCube Neutrino Observatory at the South Pole, appears to originate from the distant active galaxy TXS 0506+056, at a light travel distance of 3.8 billion light years. ...

Researchers home in on extremely rare nuclear process

A hypothetical nuclear process known as neutrinoless double beta decay ought to be among the least likely events in the universe. Now the international EXO-200 collaboration, which includes researchers from the Department ...

Can neutrinos help explain what's the matter with antimatter?

In physics, antimatter is simply the "opposite" of matter. Antimatter particles have the same mass as their counterparts but with other properties flipped; for example, protons in matter have a positive charge while antiprotons ...

Scientists shave estimate of neutrino's mass in half

An international team of scientists, including researchers at MIT, has come closer to pinning down the mass of the elusive neutrino. These ghost-like particles permeate the universe and yet are thought to be nearly massless, ...

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Neutrino

A neutrino (English pronunciation: /njuːˈtriːnoʊ/, Italian pronunciation: [neuˈtriːno]) is an electrically neutral, weakly interacting elementary subatomic particle with a half-integer spin, chirality and a disputed but small non-zero mass. It is able to pass through ordinary matter almost unaffected. The neutrino (meaning "small neutral one" in Italian) is denoted by the Greek letter ν (nu).

Neutrinos do not carry electric charge, which means that they are not affected by the electromagnetic forces that act on charged particles such as electrons and protons. Neutrinos are affected only by the weak sub-atomic force, of much shorter range than electromagnetism, and gravity, which is relatively weak on the subatomic scale, and are therefore able to travel great distances through matter without being affected by it.

Neutrinos are created as a result of certain types of radioactive decay, or nuclear reactions such as those that take place in the Sun, in nuclear reactors, or when cosmic rays hit atoms. There are three types, or "flavors", of neutrinos: electron neutrinos, muon neutrinos and tau neutrinos. Each type also has a corresponding antiparticle, called an antineutrino with an opposite chirality.

Most neutrinos passing through the Earth emanate from the Sun. About 65 billion (6.5×1010) solar neutrinos per second pass through every square centimeter perpendicular to the direction of the Sun in the region of the Earth.

In September 2011, neutrinos apparently moving faster than light were detected (see OPERA neutrino anomaly). Since then the experiment has undergone extensive critique and efforts to replicate the results because confirming the results would change our understanding of the theory of relativity. (See Speed below)

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