Weighing The Universe

Scientists discover mass in the tiny neutrino--maybe even enough to reverse the Big Bang

Physicists love nothing more than announcing a discovery that rewrites the textbooks--unless, perhaps, it's a discovery that rewrites two textbooks at once. That's evidently what happened last week at a scientific conference in Japan. An international team of 120 physicists reported that the neutrino, a subatomic particle long thought to be utterly without mass, actually weighs in at a tiny fraction of the mass of the electron (until now, the lightest particle known). For elementary-particle physicists, that means their most basic theories will have to be rewritten; for astronomers, it means that the missing "dark matter" believed to pervade the cosmos...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

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