Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Questions on neutrinos

  1. Apr 18, 2008 #1
    Sorry, I am just a newbie here, but I hope I can ask some basic questions about neutrinos that I haven't been able to find in books?

    My first question for starters....... then I will see how it goes.

    If science has only been able to detect a few neutrinos, how do we know for certain that billions are passing through my body as you read this?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 18, 2008 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    There are two basic reasons - theoretical and experimental.

    Theoretical: The fusion reactions which make the sun (and all stars, etc.) shine produces lots of neutrinos - the physicists have made good estimates.

    Experimental: Since the reaction rates of neutrinos are very small and are known, the experiments detecting them can be used to estimate the number passing through the device and therefore through us. Moreover the estimates are in good agreement with the theoretical estimate of solar neutrinos.
  4. Apr 18, 2008 #3
    Hmmm, guess I definitely need to read up again. I thought that detectors had only been able to detect a few......
  5. Apr 18, 2008 #4


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor
    Homework Helper

    Ms_Music: define "a few" ? :)

    They detect as many as they should according to theory.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook