Little Rascals

18 Nov 2011

Neutrinos are rascally little devils according to Ask a Physicist at in reply to a query on why neutrino oscillations occur. At the actual existence of neutrinos is questioned and the recent experiment in which neutrinos were said to move faster than light involved something going into a mountain  and some shreds of something coming out the other side - but was it neutrinos? Almost everyone in science agrees they can't really travel faster than light, as Ask a Physicist confirms - yet in that experiment they did (or it appeared that something might have moved very fast). It seems that 160,000 years ago there was a supernova in a nearby galaxy and this released lots and lots of neutrinos - reaching the Earth almost instantaneously. In addition, our Sun is said to produce neutrinos due to thermonuclear processes in the interior (assuming the Sun is powered by a core in which thermonuclear processes take place). Since 1960 the hunt has been on for locating neutrinos but the detection rate has not exactly been successful - yet the consensus theory still dominates our view of the Sun. Ask the Physicist suggests neutrinos have the ability to change identity - a master of disguise. What was really coming out of the other side of that mountain in the Alps?