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...

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