Why Neutrinos Rarely Interact With Matter

  • #1

Homework Statement



Neutrinos very rarely interact with anything and thus are very hard to detect. About 10^14 neutrinos from the sun pass through your body every second, even at midnight (the neutrinos easily go through the earth), but this is of no concern since only one a day interacts with any quark or lepton in your body. In fact, a neutrino would have to pass through several thousand light years of solid lead before it would have a 50-50 chance of being absorbed. Given the information in C1.5, see if you can explain why neutrinos so rarely interact with normal matter.

Homework Equations



C1.5 describes interactions (Gravitational, Electromagnetic, Weak nuclear, and strong nuclear), and also includes a table about Leptons and Quarks.

The Attempt at a Solution



I was thinking the answer was that Neutrinos don't react with matter very frequently because they have little to no mass, and no charge - thus they can only participate in weak nuclear interactions or gravitational interactions which are extremely weak.

Is this the correct line of thinking?

Homework Statement





Homework Equations





The Attempt at a Solution

 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
1,254
3
Yes, that's exactly right. The big thing is that they have no charge---so they don't interact electromagnetically.
 

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