The Ninja Particle

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About 100 trillion neutrinos pass through you every second zipping through your skin, blood vessels, and organs before carrying onward unscathed.

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Don’t worry though! Neutrinos are so insanely tiny that they’re described as a “point particle” – they’re a particle, but they basically occupy zero space because physics is weird like that.

A proton is 0.0000000000017 millimeters  wide, and a proton is 1836 times more massive than an electron. An electron is so small that it is considered a “point particle” as well.

However, a neutrino is one ten-millionth the size of an electron! (even though both are “point particles”)

This Is How We Detect Neutrinos

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It Was Originally A Prison For Godzilla

Neutrinos are so energetically tiny that they’re nearly impossible to detect. The picture is of the Super Kamiokande in Japan, the world’s premiere neutrino detector. Since neutrinos travel through EVERYTHING it was built 3,330 ft underground in order to isolate them from other phenomena. When in operation it is filled with 12.5 million gallons of heavy water (deuterium). The neat looking bubbles on the walls are photomulipliers that detect when a neutrino collides with a heavy water molecule.

These photomultipliers are so sensitive that all we need is a single neutrino to hit a single molecule of water. that’s it. Mission successful. You’d think it wouldn’t be that hard, but neutrinos are the true ninjas of the universe.

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There are 127,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 molecules of H2O in a single gallon of water, and there are 12.5 million gallons of heavy water in that tank. With over ten thousand trillion neutrinos (ponder that number for a moment) passing through the Super Kamiokande EVERY SECOND you’d think we’d be detecting a lot of activity, but we aren’t, which has given neutrinos the nickname “The Ghost Particle” – although, I still prefer “The Ninja Particle”.

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This Is A Recent Image of the 1987 Supernova Explosion Remnant

The Super Kamiokande most successful day was in 1987 when the shockwave from a supernova explosion in the Large Magellanic Cloud (a small galaxy orbiting the Milky Way) reached Earth. 19 neutrinos out of the billion trillion trillion trillion trillion neutrinos that passed through were detected!

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