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

So when did people start to suspect that the neutrino had mass?

  1. Sep 16, 2014 #1


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Looking at Nucl.Phys. B194 (1982) 422 I read

    "In 1972 there were two neutrinos and they were
    both massless. Today we have three and perhaps all of them have

    Hey, 1981 and neutrinos have mass? I was not even in the university. And in all the textbooks the neutrino was massless. So how is that they (Bardeen et al) at the Fermilab had already decided that at least some of them were massive?
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 16, 2014 #2


    User Avatar
    Gold Member


    The theories were first starting be built from the 50-60's, with the 70-80's being the best [IMO]...

    I think most of textbooks would avoid talking about massive neutrinos except for if they were specialized in those kind of theories (as theories). It wasn't until 1998 when this was finally observed in SuperKamiokande.

    So I guess that's the reason your quote says "perhaps all of them have mass"
  4. Sep 16, 2014 #3

    Vanadium 50

    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Education Advisor
    2017 Award

    The idea of a massive neutrino goes back to the 1930 Pauli letter postulating it: "Groessenordnung wie die
    Elektronenmasse sein und jedenfalls nicht grosser als 0,01 Protonenmasse" - of order the electron mass and in any event less than 1% of the proton mass.
  5. Sep 16, 2014 #4


    User Avatar
    Gold Member

    Well, I read the "perhaps" as meaning that oscillations do not require mass for all of them.

    The slides are very interesting, thanks for pointing them out!
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook