Scientists Finally Find Long-Sought “Ghost” Particle Inside Atom (Jul, 1954)

This piece is talking about is the Cowan–Reines neutrino experiment which  garnered a Nobel prize in 1995.

It’s almost right. Neutrinos have zero electric charge, not practically none. They’re called neutrinos because they are electrically neutral. It means little neutral ones. There are actually three different types and although it was not proven until the late 1990′s, neutrinos do have a very, very small mass. Scientist know this because of  a process called neutrino oscillation (rather complex explanation). Unfortunately this process also makes it very hard to determine the masses of individual neutrinos.

There is an excellent episode of Nova called The Ghost Particle about the search for neutrinos. You can view a low-res version online here.

Scientists Finally Find Long-Sought “Ghost” Particle Inside Atom

At last scientists have trapped an atomic “ghost” particle that has eluded them for years. The particle is the neutrino. The chase began 20 years ago when scientists were forced to acknowledge the existence of the particle if their atomic theories were correct. Neutrinos are so small that they have practically no mass or electric charge. No direct evidence of the neutrino was found until the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory devised a scintillation counter that was thousands of times more sensitive than any other device to reactions caused by neutrinos.

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