The 50-year quest to find the particle that almost broke physics

  • 📰 newscientist
  • ⏱ Reading Time:
  • 78 sec. here
  • 3 min. at publisher
  • 📊 Quality Score:
  • News: 35%
  • Publisher: 51%

United States Headlines News

United States Latest News,United States Headlines

After a form of a radioactivity was discovered that seemed to violate the laws of physics, it took 50 years to work out what was going on

known as beta decay. In the early 1900s, physicists using rudimentary detectors and dangerous vials of radioactive substances found that beta decay appeared to violate momentum conservation. This was extremely concerning. Momentum conservation is one of the most tightly held laws of physics, which states that the total amount of momentum in a system is constant. In an atom undergoing beta decay there is at first one object, the atom.

The problem sat that way for two decades. Finally, in the 1950s, Fred Reines at Los Alamos Laboratory in New Mexico decided to go after the elusive neutrino. He found a willing collaborator in colleague Clyde Cowan, a chemical engineer and former captain in the US Air Force. Where Reines was a sparkling extrovert, Cowan was more measured, less outgoing, but a brilliant experimentalist.

In comparison to a zippy electron that interacts with matter via the electromagnetic force, or a neutron that interacts with atomic nuclei via the strong nuclear force, the chargeless and almost massless neutrino is like a barely perceptible puff of a particle that interacts with almost nothing. Unlike many other physics breakthroughs, we have no direct use for neutrinos in our daily lives.

Further in the future, there may be direct applications of neutrinos and the knowledge we have about them. Because of their ability to cover vast cosmic distances at almost the speed of light without hindrance, neutrinos could even one day become a kind of cosmic messaging The underground lab is not just host to particle physicists. Its creation opened up possibilities in many other areas of science. Being so deep in the earth, it is a unique environment because the laboratory has an incredibly low level of background radiation from cosmic rays. The existence of a stable, clean underground facility with such low radiation levels has enabled a broad research programme looking at the impact of low radiation levels on cells and organisms.


Thank you for your comment. Your comment will be published after being reviewed.
Please try again later.

Make you PAY? to read the ARTICLE? YEAH OK

Not 50 years but time for the old blockers in power to die so that new information could be processed

I have developed a theory of everything in which, among other things, it is proved that all experiments will correspond to reality even without quantum mechanics. How many years will it take for my theory to be recognized as better corresponding to reality?

Because physics was already violated by the drag-on gravity.

After I found out reason for violation of Bell's inequalities without probabilities, waves, violations of realism/locality and, accordingly, uselessness of using quantum mechanics, it will take another 50 years to convince bulk of scientific community of correctness of my concept

Then tell me now please?

We have summarized this news so that you can read it quickly. If you are interested in the news, you can read the full text here. Read more:

 /  🏆 541. in US

United States Latest News, United States Headlines

Similar News:You can also read news stories similar to this one that we have collected from other news sources.

The glam of the 1970s is alive at this new downtown disco and cocktail clubHidden next to a pizzeria, an Arts District bar and club serves Italian disco vibes and cocktails made with fun in mind. Wow
Source: latimes - 🏆 11. / 82 Read more »

Apple Fitness+ 2023 Adds Kick Boxing And Amazing Disco Ball Workout WearIt’s a new year, time for resolutions that may involve fitness. Apple’s subscription service is ready with new features.
Source: ForbesTech - 🏆 318. / 59 Read more »

The Sunset Boulevard 'it' bar where natural wine flows and the disco ball's always aglimmerIt’s an old tradition in which at any given moment across the last 100 years there is at least one place with a Sunset Boulevard address anointed as being the “it” bar.
Source: latimes - 🏆 11. / 82 Read more »

Astros' entire broadcast team to return in 2023Houston's broadcast team on TV, radio and Spanish radio will return for 2023 season.
Source: HoustonChron - 🏆 609. / 51 Read more »

North Bay braces for unusual combination of intense wind and vast flooding - KCBS Radio: On-DemandPublic safety officials in the North Bay are asking residents to stay off the roads today, to move vehicles to higher ground if possible, and to make sure you have flashlights and batteries. KCBS Radio news reporter Jeffrey Schaub explains the details from Marin County. There are major concerns about flooding and downed trees due to heavy rain and gale-force winds.
Source: KCBSRadio - 🏆 516. / 51 Read more »

How rain storms interact with infrastructure and civil engineering systems - KCBS Radio: On-DemandWe're about to get a lot more rain, and that could mean more big floods, mudslides, and other damage. For more, KCBS Radio news anchor Holly Quan spoke with Dr. Laura Sullivan-Green, a professor and chair of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at San Jose State University.
Source: KCBSRadio - 🏆 516. / 51 Read more »