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Thread: Neutrino's

  1. #1 Neutrino's 
    Forum Professor leohopkins's Avatar
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    Okay, so what happens when a neutrino hits the nucleus of an atom ?

    One neutrino being the size that it is can pass through matter light years thick without hitting anything, right ?

    However, we are not talking about just one neutrino are we, we are talking about trillions of them being produced at the core of the sun ?

    second question - how are they produced ?

    third quiestion, as millions of them pass through our body all the time; what would happen if it was to hit say an atom in a DNA molecule, or an atom in a nerve ending ?


    The hand of time rested on the half-hour mark, and all along that old front line of the English there came a whistling and a crying. The men of the first wave climbed up the parapets, in tumult, darkness, and the presence of death, and having done with all pleasant things, advanced across No Man's Land to begin the Battle of the Somme. - Poet John Masefield.

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  3. #2  
    Forum Ph.D. Steve Miller's Avatar
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    You would die I would say.

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  4. #3 Thanks 
    Forum Professor leohopkins's Avatar
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    I had hoped that SOMEBODY would have replied to this thread.

    Now I regret feeling that way.

    But thanks for your informative and well thought out hypohosis.
    The hand of time rested on the half-hour mark, and all along that old front line of the English there came a whistling and a crying. The men of the first wave climbed up the parapets, in tumult, darkness, and the presence of death, and having done with all pleasant things, advanced across No Man's Land to begin the Battle of the Somme. - Poet John Masefield.

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  5. #4 Re: Neutrino's 
    Forum Sophomore DarcgreY's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by leohopkins
    Okay, so what happens when a neutrino hits the nucleus of an atom ?

    One neutrino being the size that it is can pass through matter light years thick without hitting anything, right ?

    However, we are not talking about just one neutrino are we, we are talking about trillions of them being produced at the core of the sun ?

    second question - how are they produced ?

    third quiestion, as millions of them pass through our body all the time; what would happen if it was to hit say an atom in a DNA molecule, or an atom in a nerve ending ?
    I'm not a physicist so I can't answer all your questions, but here's a link that might help.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neutrino

    It's not the size of the neutrino that allow them to pass through matter without interaction, it's their lack of charge btw.

    Here's how the sun produces neutrinos:

    "Solar neutrinos
    Solar neutrinos originate from the nuclear fusion powering the sun and other stars. The details of the operation of the sun are explained by the Standard Solar Model. In short: when four protons fuse to become one helium nucleus, two of them have to convert into neutrons, and each such conversion releases one electron neutrino.

    The sun sends enormous numbers of neutrinos in all directions. Every second, about 70 billion (7×1010) solar neutrinos pass through every square centimeter on Earth that faces the sun.[2]"

    Another interesting fact about neutrinos is they are able to change "flavor", which means they have mass.

    "Flavor Oscillations
    Main article: Neutrino oscillation
    Neutrinos are always created or detected with a well defined flavor (electron, muon, tau). However, in a phenomenon known as neutrino flavor oscillation, neutrinos are able to oscillate between the three available flavors while they propagate through space. Specifically, this occurs because the neutrino flavor eigenstates are not the same as the neutrino mass eigenstates (simply called 1, 2, 3). This allows for a neutrino that was produced as an electron neutrino at a given location to have a calculable probability to be detected as either a muon or tau neutrino after it has traveled to another location. This effect was first noticed due to the number of electron neutrinos detected from the sun's core failing to match the expected numbers, a discrepancy dubbed the "solar neutrino problem". The existence of flavor oscillations implies a non-zero neutrino mass, because the amount of mixing between neutrino flavors at a given time depends on the differences in their squared-masses (mixing would be zero for massless neutrinos). Despite their massive nature, it is still possible that the neutrino and antineutrino are in fact the same particle, a hypothesis first proposed by the Italian physicist Ettore Majorana."
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  6. #5 Thanks 
    Forum Professor leohopkins's Avatar
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    Hi Thanks

    That has helped me to understand neutrino's a little better. now im just wondering what the odd's are on a neutrino at some point in my life, hitting an atoms nucleus within my body; and what the effect would be ?
    The hand of time rested on the half-hour mark, and all along that old front line of the English there came a whistling and a crying. The men of the first wave climbed up the parapets, in tumult, darkness, and the presence of death, and having done with all pleasant things, advanced across No Man's Land to begin the Battle of the Somme. - Poet John Masefield.

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  7. #6 Re: Thanks 
    Forum Sophomore DarcgreY's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by leohopkins
    Hi Thanks

    That has helped me to understand neutrino's a little better. now im just wondering what the odd's are on a neutrino at some point in my life, hitting an atoms nucleus within my body; and what the effect would be ?
    This is just a guess, but if a neutrino hit a proton in an atom that was part of your DNA it would probably convert it to a neutron and cause a break in the DNA chain. This would only be in one cell however and the body is more than capable of dealing with such limited damage.
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  8. #7 Re: Thanks 
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    Quote Originally Posted by DarcgreY
    This is just a guess, but if a neutrino hit a proton in an atom that was part of your DNA it would probably convert it to a neutron and cause a break in the DNA chain. This would only be in one cell however and the body is more than capable of dealing with such limited damage.
    I cannot remember where I read or saw it but I understand that the cramped conditions within a cell nucleus cause the DNA to be fractured many times per second - but there are mechanisms eclusive to repairing it. Maybe one of the biology guys could confirm/refute this?
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  9. #8 Re: Thanks 
    Moderator Moderator AlexP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Megabrain
    Quote Originally Posted by DarcgreY
    This is just a guess, but if a neutrino hit a proton in an atom that was part of your DNA it would probably convert it to a neutron and cause a break in the DNA chain. This would only be in one cell however and the body is more than capable of dealing with such limited damage.
    I cannot remember where I read or saw it but I understand that the cramped conditions within a cell nucleus cause the DNA to be fractured many times per second - but there are mechanisms eclusive to repairing it. Maybe one of the biology guys could confirm/refute this?
    i don't know about the 'many times per second,' but i do remember that there are enzymes constantly repairing the DNA. either constantly or when it replicates, but it is repaired in any case.
    "There is a kind of lazy pleasure in useless and out-of-the-way erudition." -Jorge Luis Borges
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  10. #9 Re: Thanks 
    Forum Sophomore DarcgreY's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DarcgreY
    This is just a guess, but if a neutrino hit a proton in an atom that was part of your DNA it would probably convert it to a neutron and cause a break in the DNA chain. This would only be in one cell however and the body is more than capable of dealing with such limited damage.
    I think I got this wrong. In the sun neutrinos are produced when protons emit neutrinos and convert to neutrons. So if a neutrino hit a neutron it would be absorbed and produce a proton.

    Does anyone know what happens if a neutrino hit a proton?
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  11. #10 Right....... 
    Forum Professor leohopkins's Avatar
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    Right I see what you are saying. Although...something tells me that if a proton emits a neutrino and then the proton becomes a neutron then the neutrino must have played some kind of responsibility for the charge of the proton; without of course, carrying charge itself.

    I find this to be a little confusing and the only think that i can thing of is when quarks within the proton change states FROM 1 down, 2 up TO 2 down 1 up; the proton looses some of its mass and becomes a neutron + one neutrino.

    The problem I am having contemplating this is that a proton's mass is roughly 938.3 MeV/c2 however the neutron's mass is 939.57 MeV/c2 and this tells me that the proton must ACQUIRE mass to become a neutron, however the evidence of a neutrino with mass suggests that the proton LOOSES mass or at least SHOULD loose mass.

    I just thought of something..If something had "negative mass" then it would still have a mass that isnt 0. Is this possible ? As the mass is not 0, it is negative, then that should still allow the neutrino to change flavours. Right ?

    And possibly negative mass could also include "negative gravity" at the quantum level, which would logically explain the neutrino's ability to pass through matter and go "undetected".
    The hand of time rested on the half-hour mark, and all along that old front line of the English there came a whistling and a crying. The men of the first wave climbed up the parapets, in tumult, darkness, and the presence of death, and having done with all pleasant things, advanced across No Man's Land to begin the Battle of the Somme. - Poet John Masefield.

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  12. #11  
    Forum Isotope Zelos's Avatar
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    so what happens when a neutrino hits the nucleus of an atom ?
    Hit is the wrong word to use since they dont hit like 2 balls hitting on each other. Thet interact with each other at particle level.
    What happens is as i remember it is that a muon is created and a proton turns into a neutron. The muon, if in a medium, will if the speed of light is quite slow go at super luminal velocity (relative to the speed of light in that particular medium)

    how are they produced
    nuclear reactions of different kinds.


    third quiestion, as millions of them pass through our body all the time; what would happen if it was to hit say an atom in a DNA molecule, or an atom in a nerve ending
    depending on the particular atom in question that is interacts with it can result in everything from that nothign happens to that the cell experience a potensial change and pass the signal on wiuch you migh experience as pain or what ever the signal would represent. But this is rather unlikly of all neutrinos passing throu you your entire life only one will interact with your atoms
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