The Secret Story Of The Birth Of Neutrinos

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In unstable elements with large atomic numbers, dynamic phenomena such as protons changing into neutrons or neutrons changing into protons are observed among the several protons and neutrons that make up the atomic nucleus. At this time, highly energetic electrons and neutrinos fly out of the atomic nucleus and appear right in front of our eyes.

Rutherford, who first saw electrons ejected from radioactive materials, called this radiation beta radiation. This was over 100 years ago, when people still didn’t know that the true nature of radiation was electrons. Also, the change in the type of nucleus through this mechanism is called beta decay.

In 1931, Pauli, who was carefully studying the phenomenon of beta decay, realized that the law of conservation of energy might be violated in the process of neutrons turning into protons and electrons. Even after repeated precise experiments, the fundamental principle of physics, the conservation of energy, has not been established.

However, Pauli favored the law of conservation of energy by hypothesizing that energy was carried away by (at the time) unknown elementary particles called neutrinos. His hypothesis was certainly no more than a hypothesis, but when the existence of neutrinos was proven in the 1950s, it was readily accepted into theory.

Neutrinos are often produced in reaction processes involving atomic nuclei, such as beta decay. Nuclear fusion reactions, which take place actively at the center of the sun, produce large amounts of neutrinos, which spread radially around the sun. It is estimated that more than 10 trillion particles pass through our bodies every second on Earth.

Of course, neutrinos do not interact with the substances that make up our bodies, so not only do we feel nothing, but they have no effect. Almost all neutrinos can even penetrate the Earth. Therefore, if the sun is on the other side of the earth and sunlight cannot be seen, if we can see neutrinos instead of light, we can accurately determine the direction of the sun.

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