theoretical physics

Three factoid cards, which look similar to playing cards or a baseball card, appear on a background of stars in a night sky (or in outer space) in a cartoon rendering. On each of the cards is a circle adjusted its sunglasses, presumably each a type of neutrino. Underneath these images on the cards are scribbles representing text and a question mark. In the upper left corner, the abbreviations for electron neutrino, a muon neutrino or a tau neutrino appear.

Figuring out which type of neutrino is heaviest, or solving the puzzle of neutrino mass hierarchy, would be a huge leap in our understanding of both neutrinos and the physics that govern our universe. The NoVA experiment or DUNE could help physicists do just that.

Theoretical particle physics employs very difficult mathematics, so difficult that it is impossible to solve the equations. So scientists employ a mathematical technique called perturbation theory, which makes it possible to solve very difficult problems with very good precision.