Neutrino, generally referred to as nature’s ghost particle, is a fermion which was first postulated in 1930 by Wolfgang Pauli to explain the conservation of energy, momentum and spin in Beta decay. From the day of its discovery itself, it has baffled everyone due to its unique properties. Though they make most of the universe, still they are the least understood subatomic particles till date. Here in this article, we have compiled a list of 8 astonishing facts about this ghost particle, that will blow away your mind for sure!
8. Neutrinos are the second most abundant particles in the universe after photons. The sun sends 65 billion neutrinos per second per square centimeter to earth. So about 100 trillion neutrinos pass through the human body every second.
7. According to certain estimates and approximations, neutrinos are about a million time less massive than electrons. Yet, despite being so light weight, their total mass can account upto 20% of the total mass of the universe.
6. Neutrinos are the only particles found to solely interact through the weak force. Hence, they play a vital role in digging into the details of the weak force.
5. Neutrinos have three flavors (types), electrons, muon and tau. As a neutrino travels along, it can switch in between these flavors, acting like a chameleon changing colours!
4. Both photons and neutrinos are created inside the core of stars. But while photons take tens of thousands of years to reach the edge of sun, neutrinos make this trip in just 3.2 seconds.
3. Neutrinos are hard to detect. On an average, only one neutrino from sun will interact with a person’s body during his or her life time. The largest neutrino detector in operation today is Super Kamiokande-III in Japan, which houses 50,000 tones of water to interact with neutrinos.
2. Neutrinos dissipate about 99% of the total supernova’s energy. If Betelgeuse goes supernova today, Super Kamiokande-III would detect an estimated 13 million neutrinos.
1. These high velocity particles are also proposed candidate for hot dark matter, as they do not emit or absorb light, making them appear dark!