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Neutrino Mass Confirmed 318

Posted by Zonk
from the they-do-exist dept.
biohack writes "BBC News reports that results from the MINOS experiment have confirmed that neutrinos have mass. To look for neutrino oscillations, scientists created muon neutrinos in a particle accelerator at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab). After passing through a particle detector at Fermilab, a high intensity beam of neutrinos travelled to another particle detector 724km (450 miles) away in a disused mine in Soudan, US. The set up established that fewer particles were being detected at the Soudan site than had been sent from Fermilab, which confirmed that some neutrinos changed their flavor on the way - an effect called neutrino flavor oscillation, which requires them to have mass. 'To put it simply, if they are heavy, it means that there is a lot more mass in the Universe than we thought there was,' said Professor Jenny Thomas from University College London."
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Neutrino Mass Confirmed

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  • bragging time (Score:5, Interesting)

    by phlegmofdiscontent (459470) on Saturday April 01, 2006 @10:20PM (#15044056)
    I've actually seen the detector at the Soudan Mine. Pretty impressive. Kinda hard to get to (300 mile drive into the middle of nowhere followed by a half mile trip underground).
    • Re:bragging time (Score:2, Informative)

      by Tyball (139432)
      How did you like the elevator ride down? Dark and kinda clanky. I worked on this project when I was in school--good to see some results already!
      • The bats are cool.
      • Re:bragging time (Score:3, Informative)

        by cayenne8 (626475)
        Hmm...time to throw on that old, old song Little Neutrino [klaatu.org]
        • Actually...the song in question has lyrics HERE [klaatu.org], last song on the first album. For those of you too young...back in the mid 70's, this group was very secretive, and a rumour went around that this was a 'Beatles' ablbum put out incognito...

          Great tunes to listen to if you're in an 'altered state'.....especially this one.

          If you've never heard of them...give them a try....1st 2 albums are very interesting....

    • I toured it too. I think the more interesting part is that this experiment has only been running for a year, when they started it up they were predicting it could take years to get enough data to make conclusions.

      They only expected to see one or two neutrinos hit the targets per day, out of billions of particles being shot.

    • Re:bragging time (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Lord_Dweomer (648696)
      Also bragging time...while in college at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design a couple years ago I had the pleasure of working with a member of the Minos team...Pete Borland (sorry if I spelled wrong!), a genius and a hilarious fellow geek.

      We created a piece of educational software that I believe is currently in use at the University of Minnesota in their physics class to explain Neutrino Oscillation. Very cool to find out that our project finally saw this kind of resolution, not just for the cool fac

    • Are you trying to tell us you've changed "flavors"?

      Not that there's anything wrong with that.
      • Are you trying to tell us you've changed "flavors"?

        Yeah, the universe ran out of vanilla, so it's substituting a rich, creamy chocolate. Unfortunately, since neutrinos rarely interact with matter, of which women are made, this will little positive impact upon your life.
        • by Trelane (16124) on Sunday April 02, 2006 @10:57AM (#15045756) Journal
          Yeah, the universe ran out of vanilla, so it's substituting a rich, creamy chocolate.
          Yeah, but they both have up- and downsides. While the vanilla is extremely common and thus is not as strange as the chocolate flavour, it still has its charm. But the chocolate is packed with more calories (being more fudge than chocolate) and hence will pack on pounds to your top and bottom.

          But the staunch advocates of vanilla aren't at all mute. They've been quite vocal in support of their flavour of choice and have even proposed creating a new sub-flavour, the electric vanilla. Unfortunately for them, however, due to the long legacy of having only vanilla, people have been taught to expect vanilla to be boring. Therefore, the electric vanilla is expected to flop.

          Temporarily relieving the boring-vanilla problem, however, someone long ago discovered vanilla in red, green, and blue colours (as well as in cyan, magenta, and yellow, but those are really just the opposite of the other colours). One would hope that the new chocolate flavour would also come in similar colours and--thus far--this seems to be the case.

          My humblest apologies for this post; I've been learning particle physics by grading homework in it, and I suspect it's driven me quite mad.

  • Soudan, US (Score:3, Informative)

    by Wyatt Earp (1029) on Saturday April 01, 2006 @10:20PM (#15044058)
    Thats is sloppy on the BBC's part, they should have put the State in there. In this case it is Minnesota.

    http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/state_parks/soudan_unde rground_mine/physicslab.html [state.mn.us]
    • Re:Soudan, US (Score:2, Offtopic)

      by aktzin (882293)

      That kind of sloppiness is rare for the BBC, but typical for US media. It's probably because so many USians don't know or care about world geography. It would sound weird/inaccurate to hear news about "San Francisco, USA" without mentioning California. But this is exactly how it sounds when US news mention a city in another country and ignore the state/province/region/department where it's located. Here's a good example of a double-whammy courtesy of CNN:

      http://www.cnn.com/2006/POLITICS/03/30/bush.ca [cnn.com]

      • Re:Soudan, US (Score:3, Informative)

        by Guppy06 (410832)
        We're talking about trying to give the reader a rough idea of where a story comes from, not what belongs on a properly-addressed envelope.

        "That kind of sloppiness is rare for the BBC"

        The US is the country where 100 years is a long time. The UK is where 100 miles is a long distance. Even the British can be guilty of the ol' "Oh, you're from the US? Do you know $PERSON from $SIX_STATES_AWAY?"

        The only countries bigger than the US are Russia and Canada, and I don't believe either has anywhere near the number
        • Except that stories mentioning Canadian cities very often place them in Ontario. Yes, Ontario has lots of cities, but it DOESN'T HAVE THEM ALL.

    • Thats is sloppy on the BBC's part, they should have put the State in there. In this case it is Minnesota.

      I don't think it's sloppy. That's not like anybody really cares. When you read news from Germany, they usually don't tell you whether it is Saxony or Bavaria or whatnot.
      • Re:Soudan, US (Score:3, Insightful)

        by nmb3000 (741169)
        When you read news from Germany, they usually don't tell you whether it is Saxony or Bavaria or whatnot.

        Come on. If you're discussing a specific event in a specific location they are going to list the location. Location-based new reporting is hardly uniquely American. Besides, if nobody cares why even list the location at all? Just say "some guys figured out some physics thing in this test someplace".

        State names can be important when there is a good chance that there may be 3-5 (or more) states containin
    • Re:Soudan, US (Score:5, Insightful)

      by node 3 (115640) on Sunday April 02, 2006 @02:16AM (#15044556)
      Thats is sloppy on the BBC's part, they should have put the State in there.

      Why? They don't care anymore than we (Americans) care that Tijuana, Mexico is more appropriately, "Tijuana, BC, Mexico".

      To us, the state is important, but to the British, it's really not that pertinent. The point is that the detector is in the US, not what particular state it's in.

      Given how awful most Americans are at geography, your complaint comes off trite and arrogant, sort of like you require people to call you by your full name and title, yet you don't really care whether you get anyone else's name right at all.
  • by Monkeys!!! (831558) on Saturday April 01, 2006 @10:22PM (#15044061) Homepage
    You know you are a serious geek when you read the headline and say 'YES!' out loud.
    • by MeanMF (631837) on Saturday April 01, 2006 @10:49PM (#15044145) Homepage
      You're ok as long as you didn't have that reaction to the "OMG BARBIE LINUX LOL!!1!!!!" headline...
    • You know you are a serious geek when you read the headline and say 'YES!' out loud.

      Absolutely! This is the kind of stuff that made me go into physics in college. I've been waiting for some resolution of the neutrino mass issue for the last 20 years or so. This is the cool stuff! w00t!
    • What a relief to know I'm not the only one to do that.

    • Re:*shakes head* (Score:3, Interesting)

      And you know you are a sceptic when your next thought is,"hold on, they sent these particle's through an object they know next to nothing about and then use the fact that some of them didn't turn up as proof".
      Then you read more and you get,"Of course, most of them travel right through our detectors as well, but once in a blue moon one of them will interact - about one or so per day."

      I suppose I am being pedantic, but can anybody explain to me why I should believe their explanation that their not turning up
      • Re:*shakes head* (Score:5, Informative)

        by honkycat (249849) on Sunday April 02, 2006 @02:30AM (#15044589) Homepage Journal
        They have two detectors. One very near to the source, one very far away. The near source measures many more hits than the far source does. Thus, they know they're being produced in larger quantities than they're being received in. Compared to a model of the test configuration assuming no oscillation, there are about 33% too few hits on the far detector as compared to the near. This amounts to a 4 or 5 sigma detection of the missing neutrinos (in other words, there is approximtely a 0.7%-1.8% chance that this is due to a statistical coincidence). It's typically at 2 or 3 sigma that you start making a confident announcement of a discovery, so a 4 or 5 sigma confirmation of an already reported result is very, very strong evidence.

        They don't yet have enough data to rule out some alternative explanations. At this point, though, neutrino oscillation (and mass) would really be the simplest, least "out there" explanation. These experimenters would like nothing more than to find that even the oscillation theories don't explain the data. That would open a whole new field of inquiry and possibly lead to Nobel Prizes.

        If you're techincally inclined, read about the Minos results [fnal.gov] straight from the horses' mouths.

        The seminar talks go into a fair bit of detail about their data analysis, which included "blind analysis." In other words, they kept a significant (and unknown until the end) fraction of their data secret from those doing the analysis. Using the other fraction, they went through their testing procedures -- figuring out how to detect false events, how to deal with various , etc -- using a limited piece of the data. Once they were confident that they had done everything correctly, they opened the whole data set and ran their procedure without changing it.

        This protected them from tainting their data by, e.g., throwing out data points that didn't match expectations. That is a common problem, even among good scientists. It's very easy to subconsciously make decisions that bias your results toward the expected answer.

        Anyway, I am a physicist, and I think you should believe these guys. Everything I've seen indicates they've done a good, careful job with the experiment.
    • Or you read a website that has one story about the new Simpson's movie and then the next story is about Neutrinos. ...and OMG Ponies!
  • Already Known (Score:3, Insightful)

    by physicsphairy (720718) on Saturday April 01, 2006 @10:22PM (#15044062) Homepage
    Neutrino mass has been an established fact since 1998 (courtesy work at the Super-Kamiokande).

    Would slashdot also be interested in posting my own confirmations that light has a finite speed?

    • Re:Already Known (Score:5, Informative)

      by rewinn (647614) on Saturday April 01, 2006 @10:33PM (#15044098) Homepage

      ... as claimed in 1998 Scientific American article [hawaii.edu]

    • Re:Already Known (Score:4, Insightful)

      by n0mad6 (668307) on Sunday April 02, 2006 @12:12AM (#15044292)
      Perhaps simply reading the title would give a hint as to why this is important (i.e., note the word "confirmed"). Experimental results aren't really useful unless its a result that can be reproduced. The MINOS result is simply the first confirmation of the earlier Super-K result.
      • Re:Already Known (Score:4, Interesting)

        by habig (12787) on Sunday April 02, 2006 @11:10AM (#15045798) Homepage
        Not quite - the SK result has been confirmed several times (to less precision) by other atmospheric neutrino experiments.

        And once before by the K2K accelerator experiment, which was (like MINOS) a controlled, make-your-own-neutrinos, measured-before-and-after sort of experiment. Although one might argue since that used SK as a far detector that it might not be as independant a confirmation as you might like.

        The MINOS result is nice because in the first 6 months of a multi-year run, we already have the precision of the K2K results, and that all the experiments point to a similar number. Which makes us feel good that after a few more years work we'll have accomplished the goal of measuring these oscillations way more precisely than ever before, and will have a shot at uncovering more subtle things going on with the neutrinos.

        But, that doesn't make good headlines, so you won't read that take on things in the popular press. Same reason as we get a rash of "black holes finally discovered" articles every six months when someone presents some new black hole observations at an AAS meeting.

        Fox News had a fun headline though, something like "Feds lose neutrinos, gain knowledge".

        PS - note that I'm on both Super-K and MINOS, in fact I created my slashdot account in 1998 to respond to comments about that first SK result. It's pretty neat that doing the experiment a completely different way still shows the same thing happening - so Mother Nature must be up to something real here.

        PPS - if you're up in Northern MN for some reason (likely canoeing or fishing) do stop by the Soudan Underground State Park on your way to Ely to take a tour of our lab (and the historic mine). Add a proper geeky component to your otherwise dangerously outdoorsy vacation.
    • Re:Already Known (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Firehed (942385) on Sunday April 02, 2006 @12:55AM (#15044388) Homepage
      Actually, I think it's been an established fact since the beginning of universal existance (quite possibly predating the Big Bang, if possible, and assuming that it did actually occur). It's been a known fact since 1998.
    • Re:Already Known (Score:3, Interesting)

      by jstott (212041)

      Neutrino mass has been an established fact since 1998 (courtesy work at the Super-Kamiokande).

      Super-Kamiokande showed that neutrinos have mass if our models about solar neutrino production are correct. (There was a slight day/night shift observed too, but that's statistically weaker). SNO-ball provided strong supporting evidence too, by which point pretty much everyone agreed neutrino mass was right theory, but there's still the question of exactly what the solar neutrino flux is made up of.

      MINOS s

    • Re:Already Known (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Goldsmith (561202) on Sunday April 02, 2006 @03:21PM (#15046677)
      Which is why Slashdot for once had the right headline:

      Neutrino Mass Confirmed

      I know plenty of people who work on Super-K and I'm sure they're as glad as anyone their work has been found accurate. The fact that it took almost a decade to confirm this shows how amazing that first measurement is.
  • Minos? Muons? Soudan? They're just making stuff up! This article just reeks of April Fools!! /Peter Griffin Voice
  • Creighton Mine (Score:3, Informative)

    by pipingguy (566974) on Saturday April 01, 2006 @10:22PM (#15044066) Homepage

    SNO Detector [queensu.ca].
  • This is new? (Score:2, Informative)

    by fatduck (961824) *
    This was proven in the late 90's in a Japanese lab. The experiment was similar and involved muon neutrinos changing flavors to electron neutrinos in a large particle accelerator. The real question is how many eV are the combined masses of the three flavors? The answer to that question portends much for the state of the universe.
    • Got a link? The only Japanese neutrino experiment from the late 90s that I can recall is super-K, which was most certainly NOT a particle accelerator. Super K is just a massive cherenkov radiation detector - an empty mine that was meticulously cleaned and filled with very pure water, and contained a whole bunch of PMTs to detect single photons given off by cosmic particle interactions.
    • Re:This is new? (Score:5, Informative)

      by bcrowell (177657) on Saturday April 01, 2006 @11:07PM (#15044179) Homepage
      Yes, this is a confirmation of something that had already been shown by one experiment.

      The experiment was similar and involved muon neutrinos changing flavors to electron neutrinos in a large particle accelerator.
      No, it wasn't an accelerator, and the experiment wasn't similar. [wikipedia.org]

      The real question is how many eV are the combined masses of the three flavors? The answer to that question portends much for the state of the universe.
      No, not really. Not unless the mass of the electron's neutrino is surprisingly large compared to the mass differences among the different types of neutrinos.

  • by edwardpickman (965122) on Saturday April 01, 2006 @10:30PM (#15044085)
    New evidence has confirmed that the Universe does in fact have mass. Science advisor for the Bush administration was quick to point out that this is a theory and there was still no hard evidence. "The Bible makes no mention of the Universe having mass so we'll have to wait until a method is devised for weighing the Universe. We don't want any more psedoscience like that Darwin character was spreading."
  • The quote from Thomas seems odd to me. Although massive neutrinos do add to the mass of the universe, I don't think their contribution is really all that important cosmologically. My understanding is that we're currently in an era dominated by the cosmological constant, with second place occupied by some unknown exotic form of matter (not baryons or neutrinos), third occupied by baryonic matter, and neutrinos a distant fourth. Although neutrinos are numerically very common (more than atoms, I think), their
  • okay. Well maybe the universe is heavier than we thought.. I know my own mass is quite larger than it should be. ;)

    I have something kinda off topic but its "heavy" as well. Ever seen a pepsi with a wire in it?

    Thats right! A stainless steel wire in an old unopened pepsi. Can we find out how that happened? If you want to see it here it is.. http://www.regardingspace.com.wireinpepsi.jpg/ [wireinpepsi.jpg] Happy April 1. The image is legit though.

  • Dark Matter (Score:4, Interesting)

    by ruiner13 (527499) on Saturday April 01, 2006 @10:32PM (#15044094) Homepage
    Could these particles having mass explain the "missing matter" that scientists formerly attributed to dark matter? I wonder what other particles are there taking up space that we never thought had mass, either.
  • You know how impressionable neutrinos are.. always changing their flavor to match the latest fads.. and now call them massive?!

    They'll decay in no time...
  • Meet the new boss (Score:4, Interesting)

    by pdq332 (849982) on Saturday April 01, 2006 @10:42PM (#15044130)
    Although the article implies that the Standard Model will have to be revised as a result of this experiment, this result does not really change the Standard Model all that much. The theoretical method used to establish neutrino mass, ie- that neutrino oscillations imply neutrino mass, is itself a Standard Model prediction. Rather the results fixes some of the unbound parameters of the theory. In other words, the arguments are better known now, but the method signatures remian the same.
  • by TechnoGuyRob (926031) on Saturday April 01, 2006 @10:58PM (#15044158) Homepage
    This is a very interesting conclusion. I am currently taking a modern physics II class at a college in my town, and I live 15 minutes away from Fermilab. In fact, our professor is a scientist at Fermilab that only comes in this term to teach our class. The interesting question, though, is (and I know it's small), what is the exact mass that they obtained (if any so far)? Of course, this would have to be given in eV (electron volts), but assuming it's very small (~E-3 eV) (EDIT: I just looked at the press release linked to at the end of this post, and indeed, it is on that scale!), this could prove to have some interesting conclusions. I actually found this passage in the article that explains it better than I could:
    "In particle physics there is the Standard Model which describes how the fundamental building blocks of matter behave and interact with each other," explained Dr Falk Harris.

    "And this model tells us that neutrinos should have no mass. So the fact that we have now got independent measurements of neutrinos saying that they must have mass, means that this Standard Model is going to have be revised or superseded by something else."
    This is very interesting because of its possible re-affirmation of Wikipedia [wikipedia.org]. I'm not going to take out my string theory book right now to see if calculations of a positive neutrino mass correspond to any viable conception in string theory, but a re-affirmation and eventual proof of string theory could spur as great of an innovation as the concept of an atom.

    We'll have to wait and see, but for anyone who would like more information, Fermilab's website [fnal.gov] has an article about the discovery.
    • I mean, String Theory [wikipedia.org], not Wikipedia, sorry about that (forgot to include the title of the article, silly me).
    • by honkycat (249849) on Sunday April 02, 2006 @02:49AM (#15044622) Homepage Journal
      Basically, at this point, they've got measurements of the difference between the masses of the three flavors of neutrinos. They also have an upper bound of, IIRC, around 0.7eV (not from this experiment) for the absolute value of the neutrino mass. The delta sets the lower bound (if one flavor were at zero mass, the heavier ones must be at least the delta heavier).

      The mass deltas are known as squared values -- the sign is unknown, so there's the question of overall mass scale plus the ordering of the various flavors.
    • I'm glad to see people excited about this result! Super-K and others had discovered neutrino masses first, but this was the most controlled experiment to date - they made the neutrinos, examined them when they left the accelerator, and examined them again 700 km away. Any modifications to the Standard Model are very exciting.

      One thing I feel obligated to point out, however: this has nothing to do with string theory. String theory is a framework for thinking about how to unify the known Standard Model wit
  • by SetupWeasel (54062) on Saturday April 01, 2006 @11:02PM (#15044168) Homepage
    There is a large bit of hand waving here. Why are neutrino oscillations and neutrino mass inseparable?

    I hate when people act as if a complicated issue is simply true. So, as a public service to the Slashdot community:

    Here is a site that attempts to explain it. [uci.edu]

    My quantum physics knowledge isn't teriffic. Any particle physicists know of a better source?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday April 01, 2006 @11:18PM (#15044196)
      Okay, as a particle physicist, I learned about this in terms of the Hamiltonian evolution of a wavefunction, and some analogy to neutral kaons, and a page of math. But thats not what you wanted to hear.

      A physicist on the recent Nova special "The Ghost Particle" (Maybe it was Boris Kayser) had a nice explanation. If neutrinos have no mass, then they travel at the speed of light. If they travel at the speed of light, then they would not experience "time". Since changing flavor is a process that takes time, or duration, or something like that (this previous clause is maybe a non-trivial thing to say), then if neutrinos change flavor, they must experience time, so they must travel slower than the speed of light, so they must have some mass.
    • I first learned of the neutrino oscillation through a profs class notes. Since I respect the guy too much to actually put up his PDF (it was an example in the application of matrix diagonalisation) the best I can do is give the reference he used at the end. It looks like it has alot of detail (51 pages) but apparently it is suitable for an introductory quantum course (I haven't read it so I cannot attest).

      You can do a google search for arXiv:hep-ph/9905257 or the URL for the PDF is http://www.int.washington [washington.edu]
    • Not a particle physicist, but here is my take on it:

      As you know mass enters equations through kinetic energy - mv^2/2

      If you have several particles then their kinetic terms add up - and you get a diagonal matrix for mass.

      A question comes up though is why are we sure that particle 1 is really particle 1 and not 99% particle 1 and 1% particle 2 ?

      Mixtures can happen and do happen very often. Consider a photon and an electron - two particles we can usually separate pretty easily. However, if a photon travels

    • simple explanation (Score:4, Informative)

      by alexander m (567750) on Sunday April 02, 2006 @04:26AM (#15044823) Homepage
      have a look at this. it's the transcript from the BBC's recent "horizon" show, called "project poltergeist", which is on precisely this topic (neutrinos having mass). very neatly explains to a lay audience what the mystery is, and also answers exactly your specific question. it's not a long read, maybe 10mins max, and as it's the transcript to the show it leads you through the topic in a well thought out manner http://www.bbc.co.uk/science/horizon/2004/polterge isttrans.shtml [bbc.co.uk] and the short answer to your question is as follows: in order to undergo neutrino oscillation, the neutrino must be capable of change. to be capable of change it must experience a personal sense of time. if it was travelling at the speed of light, it would have no sense of time. objects with mass cannot travel at the speed of light (infinite energy required for objects with mass to do this). therefore, as we experimentally can confirm neutrino oscillation, we are also confirming that neutrinos have a sense of time, which implies they are not travelling at the speed of light, which implies they have mass. hope that clears it up -- on a side-note my first degree was actually in astrophysics, at University College London (UCL), where the article's quoted scientist comes from... didn't have her for any of my lecures though ;)
  • How is this physics story about gay ponies? (tags)
  • by paiute (550198)
    Calculations of the flux due to the sun shows that 60 billion neutrinos pass thru your thumbnail every second. So that's the tingling sensation.
  • Quote from the Slashdot story: "The set up established that fewer particles were being detected at the Soudan site than had been sent from Fermilab, which confirmed that some neutrinos changed their flavor on the way ..."

    Or, some of the neutrinos stopped along the way to have a beer.

    Actually, it confirmed nothing except that fewer neutrinos were detected. It is utterly foolish to think that particle physics is enough understood that accurate guesses can be made.

    Another topic, but still about this S
  • by rhatcher (53923) on Saturday April 01, 2006 @11:50PM (#15044251)
    Boy, was it great to see our result presented on Thursday. Though I'm a little disappointed that the story here didn't link to, say, our press release or even to the Fermilab [fnal.gov] or MINOS experiment [fnal.gov] home pages.

    I joined the experiment in 1995 soon after the collaboration came together and created the proposal. In that time I've written simulation ("Monte Carlo"), reconstruction and framework code for the experiment. It's been a pretty exciting 10 years. The push to get everything together this last month has been exhausting. But after presenting the results on Thursday do we physicists take a well deserved break and party like 1999? Well, noooo. We spend Friday, Saturday and Sunday IN MEETINGS! Today (Saturday) we were there from 8:30am to 7:00pm discussing how further to proceed. We've got 50% more data "in the can" that we didn't yet present (cross checks to perform, fits to perform). Plus plans for more data taking after the accelerator comes up again in June. Plus other physics results we're still trying to extract. Plus more improved simulations to do in order to yield improved limits. Such is the life of a physicist.

    • Oh, yes, and the distance from Fermilab to Soudan is 735 km. Converting to miles, rounding and then converting back to km is presumably how the value given in the story came about ... but really ... quoting it as 724km (450 miles) is just silly.

      I haven't seen mentioned any of the news reports point out the, ah, irony [no pun intended, well, okay, yes it was] of the "coal to Newcastle" aspect of transporting 5.4 kilotons of steel into an iron mine. I just like to point that out..

  • umm.. (Score:2, Funny)

    by ShaunC1000 (928875)
    is this an April fools joke I'm too dumb to understand?
  • Obligatory- (Score:5, Funny)

    by capz loc (752940) <capzlocNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Sunday April 02, 2006 @12:20AM (#15044311)
    Neutrinos have mass? I didn't even know they were Catholic!
  • One thing that drives me NUTS is that the physicists are always talking about neutrinos only being all or part of the explanation of the "dark matter" mass of the universe if they have rest mass - and this ends up in the media as if only the rest mass has gravitation.

    ALL mass has gravitation - both rest mass and the mass equivalent of all the other forms of energy (including momentum) that go into the creation of the particle. So neutrinos have the same damned mass and gravitation whether they have rest ma
  • A Sad note (Score:5, Informative)

    by stox (131684) on Sunday April 02, 2006 @12:26AM (#15044323) Homepage
    This may be one of the last discoveries at Fermilab. As it stands now, Fermilab, SLAC, and Brookhaven's future is in severe doubt.

    http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?chanID=sa006&arti cleID=00080A6A-C9C7-1419-89C783414B7F0101&colID=2 [sciam.com]
  • Neutrino (Score:2, Funny)

    by Bendejo (894944)
    Neutrino? What, Is that like the new Pentium or something?
  • OH Great!!! (Score:3, Funny)

    by rockwood (141675) on Sunday April 02, 2006 @02:03AM (#15044528) Homepage Journal
    So by quoting the article

    "To put it simply, if they are heavy, it means that there is a lot more mass in the Universe than we thought there was..."

    So what this means is that people are really a lot fatter than what they think they are.

    How I am a going to explain to my wife tomorrow when I say "Yes" to her saying "Am I fatter today?" - I'll pack my bags now and save myself some time. ummm, I may want to book a room too!

  • Heim came up with these predictions more than 20 years ago and up until recently there was mutch doubt whether Neutrinos even had mass...

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heim_theory#Matter_an d_forces [wikipedia.org]


    There are some empirical predictions of Heim theory which can in principle be experimentally verified, but this has not been achieved to date. These include

    * Predictions for the masses of neutrinos, and ...

    The mass for the neutron has been predicted by the formula a decade before experimental data existed. ...
  • by idkk (414241)
    Not only is neutrino mass important, it will make (IMHO) a fundamental change to the way in which we analyse cosmology. Although IANAP (I Am Not A Physicist) I would be more that interested to learn how this affects the concepts of dark matter, gravitational irregularity (deviations from the inverse-square law that have been suggested), and the neccesity for the existence of Black Holes to explain invisible mass and the motion of galaxies. Does the non-zero mass of neutrinos wipe out all of these uncomforta
  • Star Trek (Score:2, Funny)

    by xamomike (831092)
    That was discovered back in Stardate 43349.2 when Wesley was tinkering with his Neutrino pulse beacon. Don't you guys watch TV?

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