Physicists shed new light on nature’s weirdest particles

December 16th, 2009 - 5:07 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, December 16 (ANI): Physicists at Queen Mary’s Particle Physics Research Centre, University of London, have shed new light on neutrinos, which are considered nature’s weirdest particles.

According to Physicist Dr Francesca Di Lodovico, “Trillions of neutrinos pass through our bodies every second, but you don’t notice; they pass through space and the Earth with almost no effect. This makes neutrinos very difficult to study and yet they are thought to play a fundamental role in the formation of the Universe and understanding where we came from.”

Neutrinos come from outer space, either shot out from the Sun, or left over from the Big Bang.

But, despite their abundance, techniques to understand their nature have only been developed in the last few decades, giving surprising results.

“Theories predict there should be three types of neutrinos,” Dr Di Lodovico explained.

“Unexpectedly, early data seems to suggest that they can change type from one to another, an observation which has profound implications on our understanding of the Universe,” she said.

By firing the most intense neutrino beam ever designed, underground from Tokai on the east coast of Japan to a detector on the country’s west coast, it is now possible to observe what happens to the particles as they travel through our planet.

Scientists hope that neutrinos could be the key to understanding how the Universe has evolved over time and teach us more about deep-space events like supernovas, active galaxies and gamma-ray bursts.

They could even explain one of the biggest mysteries of the universe; why we have lots of ‘matter’, but only tiny amounts of ‘anti-matter’.

According to Dr Di Lodovico, ” Within a year, we will be able explore neutrino properties beyond the reach of the current experiments and shed light on the unknown.” (ANI)

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