|Inside of MiniBooNE Neutrino Detector (Public Domain)|
Ace “detectives” Arthur McDonald of Canada
and Takaaki Kajita of Japan recently won the Nobel Prize in physics for catching on to the “chameleon-like” characteristics of neutrinos.
Long thought to be without mass, neutrinos are
forged within nuclear reactions. As they “whiz
through the universe at nearly the speed of light” they morph from one identity to another (kind of like Clark Kent and Superman).
Although scientists now know that neutrinos can have mass, researchers are still trying to figure out just “what the actual mass of the neutrino is.” Physicists are also wondering whether there might be even more than the three known types of neutrinos.
Such conundrums will be tackled by future pioneers. For now, it remains fulfilling to contemplate the wonders of Kajita’s and McDonald’s discoveries.
Copyright October 6, 2015 by Linda Van Slyke All Rights Reserved