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Nuetrino Laser in Relativity

  1. Mar 27, 2012 #1


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    Would a nuetrino laser cause any damage if aimed at a target and the nuetrinos had sufficiently high, ultra-relavisitic energy? Obviously, photons, and relativistic collimated beams of protons, electrons, etc. would do damage, but all such "lasers" interact with electromagnetism. They destroy a target because they interact electromagnetically with the atoms in a target.

    Nuetrinos do not interact electromagnetically, but they still have mass, and they interact with the Weak Force. Perhaps they wouldn't tear atoms apart, but they could possibly tear nuclei apart (weak force).

    Does anyone know of any calculation done that is "back of envelope" on how many nuetrinos and at what energy would be needed for them to be noticed, "felt" by a target or a human, without any special equipment? For lack of better analogy, if I got in the path of such a nuetrino laser, what would thier numbers be and how many would be needed for my skin to be vaporized, sun-tanned, cell damage, etc.

    I understand nuetrinos are incredibly almost massless and non-interacting, but I was curious about thier energies and numbers to "feel them" as I might "feel" a laser.
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  3. Mar 27, 2012 #2


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    1) This has nothing to do with relativity.

    2) Laser is a really bad word choice - that refers to mechanisms specific to atomic or molecular transitions and photons.

    3) I'm probably off by a few factors here, but I get that for 1 Gev neutrinos (you want high energy ones for higher cross section), if you had about 10^22 per second going through a small spot (millimeter or so), you should definitely feel it. However, 10^22 Gev of neutrinos would have the energy of about 1 kiloton of TNT. So if you could concentrate energy equivalent to a Nagasaki atom bombs every 10 seconds into a tight neutrino beam, you should be able to feel a bit of heat on a spot on your hand (probably about like a 25 milliwatt laser)
  4. Mar 28, 2012 #3


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  5. Mar 28, 2012 #4


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    This is utterly vague. What exactly is a "neutrino laser"? What is the difference between that and a simple neutrino beam? What makes it a "laser"? What you described has nothing to do, for example, with what we get from a FEL.

    You simply cannot expect a discussion on something that has not been defined.

    Last edited: Mar 28, 2012
  6. Mar 28, 2012 #5


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    Sorry for putting this in the wrong section. I wasn't sure if it would go here or in the Particle Physics Group. I thought it might go in relativity because I was talking about particles near light speed and with relativisitic energies.

    I meant beam. When I was thinking through this, I was using the language of laser to imply a tight nuetrino beam. So a particle beam is what I was after.

    PAllen summed it up best for me. It seems that nuetrinos could carry an enormous amount of energy, and still not have any effect on any matter. A beam of nuetrinos with enough energy as many atomic bombs, and would only warm up your hand is incredible to me. So that is what I was looking for.
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