Science: The Elusive Neutrino

Physicists last week were watching with interest a complicated apparatus parked near a nuclear reactor at Hanford, Wash. Out of it may come a new branch of physics-or a warning that the structure of physics is threatened with collapse.

The apparatus at Hanford was designed to detect the neutrino, a ghostly particle that the physicists invented to make their nuclear equations come out even. When an atom disintegrates, the mass of its fragments plus the mass equivalent of the energy released should equal the mass of the original atom. Often they do not; a small amount of mass disappears as completely as...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!