Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Neutrino - advised by media consultant to remain elusive ...

The Ghost Particle is airing tonight on PBS, featuring, of course, the neutrino:
In this program, NOVA probes the secret ingredient of the cosmos: swarms of invisible particles that fill every cubic inch of space and just may explain how the universe was created. Trillions of ghostly neutrinos move through our bodies every second without us noticing a thing. Yet without them the sun wouldn't shine and the elements that make up our world wouldn't exist. This program explores the 70-year struggle so far to understand the most elusive of all elementary particles, the neutrino.

Narrated by British actor Juliet Stevenson, "The Ghost Particle" is the story of a discovery that altered scientists' understanding of what the universe is made of and how it was first formed. NOVA accompanies scientists into the laboratory, revealing astonishing footage of bizarre experiments. Computer animation brings to life the neutrino particle, which is at once invisible and yet utterly essential to all life.

A physicist friend used to work in the SNO program, tracking neutrinos in a mine in Sudbury, Ontario (Canada) that houses a neutrino detector. He liked to say that the physicists were doing the sun's bookkeeping.

Now that the neutrino has been found to have mass, perhaps we should not think of it as a ghost, but rather as a scrawny celebrity, "hiding" to attract attention?