On October 6, 2015, Takaaki Kajita of the University of Tokyo and Arthur B. McDonald of Queen’s University in Canada won the Nobel Prize in Physics for having discovered that the wispy, ghost-like particles known as neutrinos have mass.
So just what are neutrinos? And how did we come to know that these tiny fundamental particles with very little mass and no electric charge even exist? And how was it eventually discovered they indeed have mass? Find the answers to these questions and more in our neutrino video collection, in which leading physicists discuss the physics behind these fascinating wisps of reality some of whose strange interactions with the world almost look like magic.
In the WSF program “The Elusive Neutrino and the Nature of the Cosmos” above, physicists Janet Conrad, Francis Halzen, and Lawrence Krauss discuss the neutrino in depth, tackling such aspects as how neutrinos fit into the Standard Model of particle physics, and how the SNO experiment (~27:26) and the Super-Kamiokande experiment helped settle a decades-long debate about neutrinos—and eventually led to the Nobel Prizes awarded to McDonald and Kajita in 2015.
You might know that neutrinos have very little mass and no electric charge. Here, World Science Festival co-founder and Columbia University physicist Brian Greene gives a fuller explanation of what a neutrino is.
Initially scientists thought neutrinos did not have mass. But now it is generally agreed that, while they may be extremely difficult to detect, neutrinos do have a tiny bit of mass.
As the program “The Elusive Neutrino and the Nature of the Cosmos” above points out, neutrinos are a central part of the Standard Model of particle physics. Here, Professor Greene gives an overview of their initial hypothesis by Wolfgang Pauli in the 1930s—and explains why they’re important.
As ubiquitous as they are elusive, neutrinos are produced in abundance in high-energy collisions. Professor Greene provides the details.
There are three types, sometimes called “flavors,” of neutrinos.
Sign up for our free newsletter to see exclusive features and be the first to get news and updates on upcoming WSF programs.
Please read the community guidelines before posting.