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06-10-12, 09:20 PM
http://cdn.arstechnica.net/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/Minos_detector_array.jpg.png It takes a lot of individual detectors to have a reasonable chance of spotting a neutrino interacting with other matter.


Don't call neutrinos elusive. Francis Halzen, who makes it his job to detect them, said that the particles' unusual properties, like their minuscule masses and tendency not to interact with matter, tend to make "elusive" one of the most common adjectives used to describe them. But in reality, they're all around us: each cubic centimeter of the Universe has hundreds of them, left over from the Big Bang. Every second, trillions of them flow through our bodies. In fact, there's probably as much matter in the form of neutrinos as there is visible matter. If we could just get a bit better at detecting them, they could tell us a lot about the Universe.

The World Science Festival hosted a discussion led by three people who have focused their careers on detecting neutrinos. Halzen helps run the new Ice Cube detector (http://arstechnica.com/business/2012/04/coolest-jobs-in-tech-literally-running-a-south-pole-data-center/) at the South Pole, while MIT's Janet Conrad works on the MiniBooNE detector (http://www-boone.fnal.gov/), which picks up neutrinos made by the Fermilab accelerator chain. Conrad was joined by her fellow MITer, Joe Formaggio, who works on the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (http://www.sno.phy.queensu.ca/), buried in a mine in Canada.

The panel was rounded out by theoretician Lawrence Krauss, and moderated by noted science writer John Rennie (http://johnrennie.net/).

Read more (http://arstechnica.com/science/2012/06/what-have-neutrinos-done-for-you-lately/) | Comments (http://arstechnica.com/science/2012/06/what-have-neutrinos-done-for-you-lately/?comments=1#comments-bar)



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