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Astronomers propose building a neutrino detector out of the Pacific Ocean

Manwon Lender

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Neutrinos are one of the most elusive particles in the cosmos, second only to ultra-mysterious dark matter. They are made in considerable quantity — they participate in the weak nuclear force and they're responsible for nuclear fusion and decay. So any time something nuclear is happening, neutrinos are involved. But neutrinos interact so rarely with matter that despite the trillions upon trillions of them passing through your body every second, in your entire life, the total number of neutrinos that will actually hit your body is about … one.

Neutrinos are so ghostly and effervescent that, for decades, physicists assumed that these particles were completely massless, traveling through the universe at the speed of light. But after mountains of evidence began to pile up, scientists discovered that neutrinos do have a tiny amount of mass. Exactly how much mass is a matter of active scientific research. There are three kinds of neutrinos: the electron neutrino, the muon neutrino and the tau neutrino. Each of these "flavors" participates in different kinds of nuclear reactions, and frustratingly, all three neutrino types have the odd ability to change from one identity to another as they travel. So, even if you do manage to see a neutrino and determine its type, you only know a fraction of what you wish you knew.


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How to detect trillions upon trillions of neutrinos every second per second.


Build a detector. Stand inside it.  Wait for them to arrive. :su

What do you think Manwon? Weaponise them? 

Could neutrinos destroy nuclear weapons? 

"The researchers suggest sending a neutrino beam with an energy of 1000 TeV through the Earth to wherever the nuclear weapon was located (see figure). The beam would produce neutrons in a 'hadron shower' and would cause fission reactions in the plutonium or uranium in the bomb."


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