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Para una versión en español, haga clic aquí. Para a versão em português, clique aqui. In February, the MINERvA experiment at Fermilab reported its findings of what happens when a neutrino produces a pion (a particle made of a quark and an antiquark) by interacting with a proton or neutron inside the nucleus. In today’s wine and cheese seminar, MINERvA will release its measurement of what happens when a neutrino or antineutrino produces a pion outside a nucleus by interacting…

Para una versión en español, haga clic aquí. When a neutrino enters the nucleus of an atom, it can interact with the protons and neutrons inside and impart enough energy to create completely new particles. Often a pion (a particle made of a quark and an antiquark) is produced. However, the nucleus is such a dense place that sometimes the pions never make it out of the atom! Figuring out how many pions are produced and how many exit the…

Para una versión en español, haga clic aquí. MINERvA is a neutrino scattering experiment that prides itself on being able measure in exquisite detail the probability that a neutrino will interact: We look for many different reactions on many different nuclei. However, in order to measure those probabilities, we have to know precisely how many neutrinos are produced in the first place. Although Fermilab’s Accelerator Division can tell MINERvA just how many protons it delivers to the target that starts…

Para una versión en español, haga clic aquí. We can all tell that a lump of coal, a steel ball bearing and a lead brick are very different from one another, just by using our eyes. On the other hand, we know they are all just made up of different numbers of protons and neutrons in the nucleus, the atom’s inner core. At MINERvA we use neutrinos to see these materials, and sure enough, the protons and neutrons seem to…

Para una versión en español, haga clic aquí. Para a versão em português, clique aqui. Neutrinos are notoriously difficult particles to study: For every 50 billion neutrinos that pass through the MINERvA detector at Fermilab, only about one will interact leaving a trace in our detector, producing particles that we can observe directly. In spite of this, we are starting to use neutrinos to learn more about protons and neutrons and how they behave when they’re together inside an atomic…

Neutrino scientists are currently trying to answer some exciting questions. How much do neutrinos weigh and why are they so light? How much do neutrinos change from one kind to another (called mixing) and why are their transformations so different from quark mixing? Do neutrinos mix differently from anti-neutrinos? To answer these questions, neutrino physicists must study how neutrinos and anti-neutrinos mix over time, which means using neutrino interactions to measure their energies and the distances they travel. If neutrinos…