Anti Gravity: Attack of the Killer Neutrinos; April 1996; Scientific American Magazine; by Yam; 1 Page(s)
Incoming asteroids, nuclear war, deadly viruses--how many ways are there to destroy life on Earth? Thanks to physics, obsessive apocalyptists now have another possibility: lethal neutrinos. Neutrinos are those ghostly little rascals that appeared in experiments in the 1930s but were invisible, that might have some mass but then again might not, that can shift from one form to another but might not, and that hardly react with anything but--guess what?--sometimes do.
That last feature is why physicists must resort to unusual detection methods such as filling up tanks with nearly half a million liters of dry-cleaning fluid. Not that neutrinos leave unsightly stains; rather a huge target is necessary for that rare occasion when a neutrino bangs into a dry-cleaning-fluid atom and thus reveals its elusive presence. And if you think that some neutrinos might be killers, as does Juan I. Collar of the University of Paris, you need to know how frequently they interact with other kinds of matter