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Homework Help: Nuetrino particle detection

  1. Nov 13, 2007 #1
    Hi guyz

    my teacher recently asked me..how did we actually discover(or how do we find ) a neutrino particle....remember a neutrino particle has 0 mass and 0 charge..

    well my guess to this was using rest mass theory...which says tat..some particles wen givin velocity above the speed of light,,, gain mass...as the mass increases with increases with increase in speed...

    sadly..he said my answer was wrong...saying tat...there shud be a rest mass associated with neutrino particle...

    except for the rest mass..i really cant think of any reason..

    will be br8 if someone cud help...
  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 13, 2007 #2


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    Do you know how neutrinos are produced?
  4. Nov 13, 2007 #3


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    Neutrinos have a small rest mass. The mass increases upto the speed of light but you can't go above the speed of light - in vacuum.

    Since neutrinos don't interact very strongly with other particles one good way of detecting them in Cherenkov radiation.
    This is a sort of optical equivalent of a sonic boom, when the particle is travelling faster than the speed of light in a material. Remember although nothing can go faster than the speed of light in a vacuum, the speed of light is slower in other materials.
    In water it is 1.3x slower so you can go through water at nearly 'c' in vacuum which is 1.3x 'c' in water. The result is a blue glow that you can detect with sensitive cameras.
  5. Nov 13, 2007 #4
    well i didnt get wat u said properly...wat i understood is the neutrinos are detected in cherenkov radiation.

    actually,, im just in my class xii right now...and have no clue at all of this radiation..

    cud u plzz give me an answer which i cant relate practically...
    ill try my best
  6. Nov 13, 2007 #5


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  7. Nov 13, 2007 #6


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    Cerenkov radiation is a blue glow from a particle travelling faster than light in the medium.
    Advantage is that you get timing, speed and direction information.

    You can also detect neutrinos by their very rare interactions with atoms. There is a very small probablility that one hitting a chlorine atom will change it into an argon atom. If you have a big enough tank of chemicals containing chlorine and you constantly check for very small quantitites of argon you can detect neutrinos this way.

    See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neutrino#Neutrino_detection
  8. Nov 19, 2007 #7
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