Neutrino physics

Authors(s):Frederick Reines and Clyde L. Cowan Publication:Physics Today Publication Date: Publisher: American Institute of Physics Citation:Physics Today 10, 8, 12 (1957) Link:

THE neutrino is one of nature's strangest exhibits in the showcase of nuclear physics. Produced in the process of nuclear beta decay and very likely in the decay of certain members of the meson family, the neutrino lives on toward infinity with negligible probability of further interaction with matter, unaffected by anything except the gravitational field of the universe. It might be imagined that this peculiar behavior is sufficient for one particle, but as recent experimental developments stimulated by the theorists Lee and Yang have indicated, the neutrino may be near the heart of the parity puzzle: a given neutrino would seem to know right from left and to communicate this information via the law of conservation of angular momentum to particles with which it is associated in decay processes.