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Massive, Blimp-Like Experiment Reduces Weight Limit On Neutrino

Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany

The new limit on the mass of nature’s lightest particle of matter set by Physicists. The neutrino might weigh no more than 1.1 electron volts (eV) less than one-500,000th the mass of an electron says experimenters with the Karlsruhe Tritium Neutrino (KATRIN) experiment on the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany. It is reported on 13 September at a meeting in Toyama, Japan, the brand new result halves the earlier limit of 2 eV.

Physicists have attempted to measure the neutrino’s size for decades. However, the particle hardly interacts with ordinary matter. So to deduce its mass, researchers research the radioactive “β decay” of tritium, during which a nucleus spits out an electron and a neutrino. By accurately measuring the maximum energy of the emitted electrons, physicists can understand the mass of the un-observed neutrinos. KATRIN takes this classic approach to the ultimate limit, using a 23-meter-long blimp-like spectrometer to measure the electron from tritium with unprecedented precision.

The brand new limit is based on merely 28 days’ value of information. Ultimately, KATRIN experimenters hope to gather data for 1000 days and push the limit down by another issue of 10 to 0.2 eV or show that the neutrino weighs more than considered. Cosmological measurements already recommend the neutrino can’t weigh more than about 0.1 eV. However, that estimate relies on several theories. So KATRIN physicists claim that their better, directly measured limit on neutrino mass is more likely to make cosmology models more reliable.

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