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Are neutrinos an example of quantum tunneling?

  1. Mar 8, 2006 #1
    I am trying to understand the PBS NOVA ‘The Ghost Particle’ shown Tuesday 28 February 2006.

    Question 1 - When neutrinos pass through the Earth interacting in a statistically predictable manner, is this an example of quantum tunneling conforming to a helical version of the Schrodinger equation?

    Conversely - could one say that the Earth is simultaneously tunneling through this enormous number of neutrinos on a relativistic gauge or scale?

    Question 2 - Could neutrinos interact with the inner and outer core to maintain the Earth’s magnetosphere?

    This question attempts to relate this NOVA program to the PBS NOVA ‘Magnetic Storm’ shown several years ago with a link to.
    "For that matter, why is it that instead of quietly fading away, as magnetic fields do when left to their own devices, Earth's magnetic field is still going strong after billions of years? Einstein is said to have considered it one of the most important unsolved problems in physics. With a year of computing on Pittsburgh's CRAY C90, 2,000 hours of processing, [Gary] Glatzmaier and collaborator Paul Roberts of UCLA took a big step toward some answers. Their numerical model of the electromagnetic, fluid dynamical processes of Earth's interior reproduced key features of the magnetic field over more than 40,000 years of simulated time. To top it off, the computer-generated field reversed itself."

    Question 3 - Why would neutrinos tunnel through relativistic entities while photons are apparently warped by relativistic entities?

    I understand from the standard model:
    Photons are boson force carrier particles of electromagnetic interactions.
    Neutrinos are leptons differing from electrons in that they have zero electric charge although now thought to have mass from experiments by Masatoshi Koshiba [Nobel 2002].
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 8, 2006 #2


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    No, it's not. Neutrinos have very weak coupling with matter, so they simply do not scatter off it. This isn't tunneling.

    Considering the very few scattering events, it is highly unlikely that one could depend on neutrino interactions to maintain such a thing.

    This has already been answered above. It isn't tunneling.

    Photons have different interactions with matter depending on the wavelength. So not all photons interact the same way - that's why a piece of ordinary glass can let visible light passes through, while blocking almost all UV light.

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