Friday, October 11, 2013

Enigmatic Neutrinos

It is every physicist's dream to get the honor of bringing a new particle into the world. Few are so lucky, but a man named Wolfgang Pauli did. However, when he made his famous discovery, Pauli didn't seem to feel that honored; he stated, "I have done a terrible thing, I have postulated a particle that cannot be detected."

Neutrinos are my favorite particle. They are (by far), the oddest of the fundamental particles, because they do not make up atoms or have anything to do with chemistry whatsoever. They are also the only electrically neutral lepton, so they feel neither the strong force nor the electromagnetic force. What's most amazing? Every second of every minute, of every hour of every day, over a billion neutrinos pass through your body.

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