Article: "Monster" antimatter particle "slams" into Antarctica

In summary: However, the likelihood of such an event occurring in a specific location is extremely low, making it unlikely for someone to actually see it happen.In summary, a neutrino with 6.3 petaelectronvolts (PeV) of energy has the same momentum as a swarm of 6,300 mosquitos moving at 1mph, or one mosquito accelerated to Mach-8.2. If a collision with matter were to occur, it would only impact a single electron and essentially ionize one atom. The real-world effects of such a collision would be similar to those of other high-energy particles, resulting in a shower of secondary particles. The efficiency of the shower in producing visible light or Cherenkov radiation can vary depending on
  • #1

DaveC426913

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TL;DR Summary
What would the real-world effects be if a collision occurred?
"A single neutrino has a mass of about 2 billion-billion-billion-billionths of a gram ... A neutrino with 6.3 petaelectronvolts (PeV) of energy ... is equivalent to the energy of a swarm of 6,300 mosquitos [moving at 1mph] ... [or one mosquito accelerated to] Mach-8.2..."

https://www.livescience.com/extreme-neutrino-hits-antarctica.html

What would be required to have this neutrino collide with matter where it could be observed - say, a layer of snow or flesh? And what effect would be observed if it did? Would it feel like being hit by a Mach 8 Mosquito? What would a Mach 8 mosquito do if it hit you in the bicep?

(Waitaminute - it would only impact a single electron. Essentially, it would ionize one atom, just like a thousand natural forms of radiation do everyday. Yes? I think I just answered my own question.)
 
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DaveC426913 said:
"A single neutrino has a mass of about 2 billion-billion-billion-billionths of a gram ... A neutrino with 6.3 petaelectronvolts (PeV) of energy ... is equivalent to the energy of a swarm of 6,300 mosquitos [moving at 1mph] ... [or one mosquito accelerated to] Mach-8.2..."

https://www.livescience.com/extreme-neutrino-hits-antarctica.html
Bad live science.
One gnat at Mach 8,2 has the same momentum as 6300 gnats at 1 mph - but not the same kinetic energy.
 
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  • #3
DaveC426913 said:
Summary:: What would the real-world effects be if a collision occurred?

it would only impact a single electron. Essentially, it would ionize one atom,
While one electron would interact with one neutrino or antineutrino, and that electron would be removed from its atom, that electron would interact with many other electrons, perhaps on the order of 1015.

See neutrino-electron interactions on page 24 of http://benasque.org/2008nufact/talks_contr/123soler_lectures_1_and_2.pdf
 
  • #4
What is the size of the region over which those 1015 electrons will be ionized?
1 6,3 PeV neutrino going off in flesh might have similar effects to 30 million 200 MeV uranium nuclei simultaneously fissing in the same flesh. Or 80 000 76 GeV accelerated protons absorbed in flesh.
How many protons did Bugorski actually absorb?
 
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I think only a small fraction of the energy would be absorbed in the first few cm of depth. We need many meters of shielding to block the highest energy cosmic rays.
 
  • #6
A collision did occur where it could be observed. That's how they measured the neutrino.

The result is the same as for basically every other particle. You get a shower of secondary particles. At these energies it will have hadronic and electromagnetic components, although electromagnetic components will (most likely) be dominant early on.

If the first collision happens inside you then you get one or up to a few minimally ionizing particles crossing you, causing a negligible amount of radiation damage. If you are somewhat deeper in the shower the dose can be higher, but still not dangerous.
 
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  • #7
After all it's part of the natural background radiation we all live in.
 
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How efficiently is such a shower converted into visible light of ionized air luminescence and Cherenkov radiation?
If such a shower chooses to take place in a dark bedroom, is it visible to naked eye?
 
  • #9
snorkack said:
How efficiently is such a shower converted into visible light of ionized air luminescence and Cherenkov radiation?
If such a shower chooses to take place in a dark bedroom, is it visible to naked eye?
Dunno about the shower, but didn't the astronauts report frequent flashes of light in their vision, which was concluded to be cosmic rays colliding with molecules in their retinae?
 
  • #10
What astronauts see is probably induced by larger nuclei which can produce a lot of light along their track - these can cross the eyes of astronauts but they don't reach the ground.

Air is much worse than water due to its lower density and the bedroom shower would be spread out over a much larger range, I would be surprised if that's visible but I can't rule it out.
 
  • #11
There are claims that the human eye is sensitive enough to "detect" single photons, which is hard to confirm though. If this is the case, it's likely that such an event may also be visible to human sight.
 

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