measurements

Dr. Kirsty Duffy, a young woman with long hair, holds a large beach ball and smiles. An orange bubble has text with the question "How big is a neutrino?" beside her.

Have you ever wondered how big a particle is — or how scientists even measure something that tiny? Fermilab scientist Kirsty Duffy will answer a deceptively simple question with the help of some sports equipment: How big is a neutrino?

From Super Interessante, Jan. 31, 2021: A team of researchers from Fermilab and the National Observatory in Brazil used the light of solitary stars to calculate the mass of some of the largest structures in the cosmos — galaxy clusters. In addition to taking the most detailed measurement ever published of intracluster light, the team’s new method of measurement can help further investigate dark matter.