December 1, 2021

Science

The world of science and technology

Can Your Eyes See Ghost Particles? | Neutrino Physics

Can you see neutrinos with your eyes? Strangely enough, the answer seems to be yes. Check out the sponsor of this video Brilliant: https://brilliant.org/DOS/
Neutrinos are the least well understood fundamental particle, and the fact that they don’t interact very much doesn’t help us study them. 300 trillion go through your body every second which is why some people call them ‘ghost particles’. But very occasionally they do hit us, and I wondered what would happen if one of them happened to hit us in our eye. Could we see it? So I figured it out with the same physics behind neutrino detectors, and the answer seems to be yes! Although you need a lot of eyes.

— References —-
[1] Mean free path of neutrinos in water (1.7*10^17m)
http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbase/Particles/neutrino3.html
[2] Measured neutrino flux from Super-Kamiokande (2.41*10^6 per cm^2 per second for neutrinos in water)
https://arxiv.org/abs/hep-ex/9805021
[3] Cherenkov radiation peaks around 420nm (visible)
https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/chemistry/cherenkov-radiation#:~:text=Cherenkov%20radiation%20consists%20of%20a,et%20al.%2C%201987).
[4] Human eyes are sensitive to 5-7 photons, down to just 1
https://www.nature.com/articles/ncomms12172
[5] Super Kamiokande paper
https://arxiv.org/abs/1606.07538

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Science News Source: DoS – Domain of Science