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Low-Energy Neutrinos Detected In Real Time

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the tell-me-why-the-stars-do-shine dept.

Science 73

Roland Piquepaille sends us word of first results from the Borexino detector in Italy, where an international team of more than 100 researchers has detected low-energy solar neutrinos for the first time. These results confirm recent "theories about the nature of neutrinos and the inner workings of the sun and other stars." In particular, it's now almost certain that neutrinos oscillate among three types, namely electron, muon, and tau neutrinos. The Borexino detector lies almost a mile underground near L'Aquila, Italy, and it sets new standards in the purity of the materials used in its construction.

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God Smack Your Ass !! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20370193)



God Smack Your Ass !!

Researchers are advised .... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20370217)

to be on the lookout for a Black Wolf, Ferris Beuller, and a young hot Michelle Pfeiffer.

Neutrinos (4, Informative)

the_kanzure (1100087) | more than 6 years ago | (#20370225)

* Neutrino [wikipedia.org]
* History of the neutrinos [in2p3.fr] [from our perspective, mind you]
* The Ultimate Neutrino Page [cupp.oulu.fi]
etc. I should go call up my particle physicist body to post up some comments. :)

Re:Neutrino jokes here: (3, Funny)

dsginter (104154) | more than 6 years ago | (#20370289)

Neutrinos - the cornerstone of *any* nutritious breakfast! (Man, this cereal goes *right* through me!)

Homer: Mmmmm... elementary particles!

Re:Neutrino jokes here: (1)

StarfishOne (756076) | more than 6 years ago | (#20388387)

Perhaps Homer isn't even saying always "Do'h!", but "tau!" :p

Re:Neutrinos (1)

FoxDude0486 (920496) | more than 6 years ago | (#20371541)

Thank god for your first post! I was wondering if this article was a joke or not.

Re:Neutrinos (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20371663)

I should go call up my particle physicist body to post up some comments.

We'd really rather not know about your body collection. Especially if you use them to post comments. Try alt.killers.serial

Re:Neutrinos (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20372899)

or alt.killers.CEREAL

The paper (5, Informative)

Angstroman (747480) | more than 6 years ago | (#20370251)

For those interested, the paper itself can be found at http://arxiv.org/abs/0708.2251v1 [arxiv.org] . The team is detecting neutrinos from Be 7 at the rate of 47 per day.

Some basic papers (4, Informative)

the_kanzure (1100087) | more than 6 years ago | (#20370321)

TASI 2002 lectures on neutrinos [arxiv.org] [Yuval Grossman] [PDF]:

We present a pedagogical review of neutrino physics. In the first lecture we describe the theoretical motivation for neutrino masses, and explain how neutrino flavor oscillation experiments can probe neutrino masses. In the second lecture we review the experimental data, and show that it is best explained if neutrinos are massive. In the third lecture we explain what are the theoretical implications of the data, in particular, what are the challenges they impose on models of physics beyond the SM. We give examples of theoretical models that cop e with some of these challenges.
Neutrino physics [arxiv.org] [Evgeny Khakimovich Akhmedov] [PDF]:

In the present lectures the following topics are considered: general properties of neutrinos, neutrino mass phenomenology (Dirac and Majorana masses), neutrino masses in the simplest extensions of the standard model (including the seesaw mechanism), neutrino oscillations in vacuum, neutrino oscillations in matter (the MSW effect) in 2- and 3-flavour schemes, implications of CP, T and CPT symmetries for neutrino oscillations, double beta decay, solar neutrino oscillations and the solar neutrino problem, and atmospheric neutrinos. We also give a short overview of the results of the accelerator and reactor neutrino experiments and of future projects. Finally, we discuss how the available experimental data on neutrino masses and lepton mixing can be summarized in the phenomenologically allowed forms of the neutrino mass matrix.
BTW, particle physics has an awesome WWW presence.

Re:Some basic papers (5, Funny)

sholden (12227) | more than 6 years ago | (#20370353)

BTW, particle physics has an awesome WWW presence.

It's almost as if the world's largest particle physics laboratory had something to do with creating it.

Spooky!

Re:Some basic papers (2, Funny)

sayfawa (1099071) | more than 6 years ago | (#20370429)

Al Gore is a particle physicist?

Re:Some basic papers (3, Funny)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 6 years ago | (#20370457)

Al Gore INVENTED particles.

Re:Some basic papers (1)

GundamFan (848341) | more than 6 years ago | (#20370729)

OK, not on topic but it did make me chuckle.

Re:Some basic papers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20372041)

So if we'd elected him way back when we, conceivably, might have had a president who not only could launch nuclear weapons but might also have been able to pronounce them correctly?

Re:Some basic papers (1)

Bemopolis (698691) | more than 6 years ago | (#20372045)

And Dubya says that the jury is still out on the existence of particles. But don't worry; Halliburton just got a rocket contract, so Cheney is drawing up plans to invade the Sun.

Mock away, liberal pussies, but neutrinos are Weakly-Interacting particles of low-Mass Destruction.

Re:Some basic papers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20380319)

Particle man... Particle man...

Re:Some basic papers (1)

wolf369T (951405) | more than 6 years ago | (#20380823)

In Soviet Rusia, particles invents Al Gore!

Mirth (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20370475)

HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA HAHAoh wait that's about as stupid and dated as a buttafuoco joke never mind

No, parent poster was correct (4, Interesting)

Flying pig (925874) | more than 6 years ago | (#20370857)

And in my view insightful rather than funny. Al Gore was a political proponent of the Internet. But the concept of the www (which is just one of the many services running on dat ole Internet)did indeed originate in CERN.

People often suggest on /. that progress on the Internet is driven by the needs of pornographers. But it would be interesting to know how much progress in networking and databases is actually driven by the (huge) data recording and analysis needs of particle physicists. My own interest in operating systems,networks and databases was started by the need to log large amounts of data very fast from lightning strike simulation experiments.

Re:Some basic papers (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 6 years ago | (#20370695)

It's almost as if the world's largest particle physics laboratory had something to do with creating it.
Yeah, they needed somewhere to send those particles, so they made all those tubes!

Re:Some basic papers (1)

HungSoLow (809760) | more than 6 years ago | (#20371127)

Action at a distance!

Re:The paper (2, Interesting)

FuzzyDaddy (584528) | more than 6 years ago | (#20373203)

I used to work on the KAMIOKA neutrino detector project (as a lowly undergrad). We looked at Chernkov radiation from scattered electrons, and saw about 1 a day, with huge background (the detector triggered about once a second or more, IIRC.) And certainly not realtime, there was a huge amount of post processing required.

The Chernkov detectors do give you direction information which this detector does no - but the sensitivity is really impressive.

One interesting aspect of this result is that it probes the presents of 7Be, which can give us a lot of insight into how the various nuclear reactions are taking place, and at what rates. It wouldn't be possible without a confirmation of neutrino oscillation, which cuts our measured neutrino flux by a third (I believe.)

Gran Sasso (5, Informative)

xPsi (851544) | more than 6 years ago | (#20370411)

Borexino is really an amazing detector, but has a complex history. The experiment is located at an impressive place called the Gran Sasso National Laboratory [wikipedia.org] (LNGS) in Italy. Technically, it is one of the deepest labs in the world as measured by overburdon -- i.e. it has about a kilometer of rock in every direction to shield cosmic rays-- but is actually located high up in the mountains [wikipedia.org] . Interestingly, it is almost directly under where Mussolini was held prisoner and subsequently rescued [wikipedia.org] by German commandos at Campo Imperatore in 1943. It is also near where the movie Ladyhawke [imdb.com] was filmed. Anyway, back in 2002 there was a chemical accident when some of the liquid scintillator material (highly toxic) got into the local ground water. The leak was an honest mistake and was actually rather minor as chemical spills go, but it caused a public relations debacle which tangled up the lab and, in particular, Borexino, in a long bureaucratic nightmare. I'm happy to see they are now back in the game producing cutting-edge results.

Re:Gran Sasso (1, Funny)

Sunburnt (890890) | more than 6 years ago | (#20370489)

Anyway, back in 2002 there was a chemical accident when some of the liquid scintillator material (highly toxic) got into the local ground water.

Who knew particle physicists were such a kinky bunch?

neutrinos have three states? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20370559)

Sounds suspiciously like a qubit. Perhaps the universe is a quantum computer afterall!

Re:neutrinos have three states? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20370629)

idiot

Re:neutrinos have three states? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20371491)

I second that.

Low post rate? (-1, Offtopic)

Tribbin (565963) | more than 6 years ago | (#20370599)

Will there be a low postrate because only few know what they are talking about?

Or... will there be 'I for one welcome our neutrinos detecting overlords' or unapropriate 'imagine a beowulf cluster of these' posts?

Re:Low post rate? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20370757)

Natalie Portman pours hot neutrinos down my pants...?

Re:Low post rate? (1)

red_flea (589243) | more than 6 years ago | (#20370863)

Well we've heard of neutrinos before, and we know what they are. But they're so cutting edge, that I'd wager most of us are shrugging our shoulders, saying "Cool" and scrolling on.

It's also so cutting edge that practical applications for results of this research are a long way off, meaning political arguments can't proceed about which congressmen and women are taking bribes from industries that will lose money if this stuff takes off in the US. Give it time tho; we'll comment after somebody figures a way to make tons of energy from neutrinos.

Re:Low post rate? (1)

Gilmoure (18428) | more than 6 years ago | (#20373421)

I turn 40 in a couple months. Have to have my postrate examined. Bleah!

Oops! My bad! (3, Interesting)

siglercm (6059) | more than 6 years ago | (#20370633)

Well, I guess if you're dogmatic about a subject, you should expect to blow your whole leg off someday....

This is the first story of Roland's that, in my opinion: 1.) Isn't blog whoring (no link back to ZDnet blog, although his home page _is_ pri - midi); and 2.) Is a story of real scientific interest; and 3.) Isn't terribly mis-represented in his summary. So even _I_ won't tag this story.... Isn't that ironic? Don't 'cha think?

It surprises me how a scientific blogger could get the minor, or sometimes major, technical details of the story he posts about wrong, but at times Roland will. But not this time :^) Good story, Roland!

Re:Oops! My bad! (4, Informative)

aicrules (819392) | more than 6 years ago | (#20371229)

Not so fast! Try taking a drink from the firehose on this one. You'll see that while the main link is still there, he DID include a link back to ZDnet that got edited out!

Re:Oops! My bad! (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20372061)

You'll see that while the main link is still there, he DID include a link back to ZDnet that got edited out!

Well then, my compliments to kdawson for showing the way and doing some actual editing.

Re:Oops! My bad! (5, Funny)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 6 years ago | (#20373295)

Well then, my compliments to kdawson for showing the way and doing some actual editing.

Today's weather forcast calls for airborne swine throughout the country, and a blizzard localized to Hell.

Re:Oops! My bad! (1)

Eponymous Bastard (1143615) | more than 6 years ago | (#20375073)

Now if this keeps up I wonder if Roland will:
-Keep submitting stories. (Reputation is good for business)
-Go away. (No need to waste his time)
-Send a C&D to slashdot and subsequently sue. (Editing his submission is clearly the creation of a derivative work and needs an additional permission from him to be distributed).

Time for Taco to add an EULA where you state that your submission might be mercilessly edited.

Re:Oops! My bad! (1)

siglercm (6059) | more than 6 years ago | (#20372213)

"Try taking a drink from the firehose on this one."

Thanks, but my firehose drinking days are over. Last time I tried it, I got plastered against a brick wall. The back of my head hit first. Not fun. ;)

"You'll see that while the main link is still there, he DID include a link back to ZDnet that got edited out!"

Then I agree with the AC who replied to you, saying, "my compliments to kdawson for showing the way and doing some actual editing." Roland isn't very reformed, but the /. editor(s) are. I, for one, welcome our new Roland-blog-post-editing /. editors....

Re:Oops! My bad! (1)

nospam007 (722110) | more than 6 years ago | (#20374577)

This is the first story of Roland's that, in my opinion: 1.) Isn't blog whoring (no link back to ZDnet blog, although his home page _is_ pri - midi); and 2.) Is a story of real scientific interest; and 3.) Isn't terribly mis-represented in his summary. So even _I_ won't tag this story.... Isn't that ironic? Don't 'cha think?
--
Perhaps because the story is not from Roland?

Neutrinos massless = timeless, but change state? (2, Insightful)

elmartinos (228710) | more than 6 years ago | (#20371173)

Last time I have heard something about the Neutrinos, there was an unresolved problem: Neutrinos do not have mass, therefore travel at the speed of light. But since they travel at the speed of light they have no sense of time, and therefore it should not be possible for them to change their state as they are practically frozen in time. This and earlier experiments confirm that despite that they change state. Are there already theories why this is possible?

Re:Neutrinos massless = timeless, but change state (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20371481)

You have correctly stated the problem, and the solution is that they must have some mass. There are several experiments underway to measure what their masses are. They are very tiny, probably sub-eV (for reference, the electron has mass of 511,000 eV. and the proton has mass 938,000,000 eV).

Re:Neutrinos massless = timeless, but change state (5, Informative)

Angstroman (747480) | more than 6 years ago | (#20371563)

Indeed, the presumed oscillations imply that the mass of the neutrino is small, but not zero. See, for example http://focus.aps.org/story/v2/st10 [aps.org] for a good discussion. Getting a good experimental measure of the mass of a particle that interacts so weakly with detectors has been a very long running challenge in experimental physics.

Re:Neutrinos massless = timeless, but change state (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20373891)

To pose some obvious follow-up questions...

Why are we so sure that photons are massless? Is it something just assumed, or has it been measured? Has it been measured accurately enough?

Obviously, photons move at the speed of light (by definition). But if they too have 'immeasurably small', not 'zero' mass, that has some rather interesting implications for physics, does it not?

Has anyone looked for similar alternative states in photons?

Re:Neutrinos massless = timeless, but change state (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20375513)

Why are we so sure that photons are massless? Is it something just assumed, or has it been measured? Has it been measured accurately enough?

Obviously, photons move at the speed of light (by definition). But if they too have 'immeasurably small', not 'zero' mass, that has some rather interesting implications for physics, does it not?
[Disclaimer: IAAP, although I don't work in this area.]

Just to clarify, when you talk about photons having mass, you mean nonzero rest mass. Photons already behave in many ways as though they have mass because they have energy.

I think the short answer is: if photons had mass, even small mass, then EM radiation would be dispersive in a vacuum, i.e., different wavelengths would travel at different speeds. I don't think this has been observed. A recent article [slashdot.org] did report something along those lines, but I didn't see any mention of nonzero-rest-mass photons as an explanation. Rather, they're interpreting the results as a possible verification of one of the predictions of string theory: that high-energy photons induce spacetime lensing that slows them down ever-so-slightly compared to their low-energy counterparts. Hey, who knows -- maybe someone could come up with a nonzero-mass photon theory to explain the results. Or maybe the string theorists are doing that already. I don't know -- like I said, I don't work in this area.

Has anyone looked for similar alternative states in photons?
See above.

Re:Neutrinos massless = timeless, but change state (2, Interesting)

rasputin465 (1032646) | more than 6 years ago | (#20373239)

Neutrinos do not have mass.... therefore it should not be possible for them to change their state

Actually, that's the whole thing... these experiments which show that neutrino flavor oscillates are evidence that neutrinos DO have mass (and also, don't travel at the speed of light).

But the fact that a particle travels at the speed of light doesn't necessarily mean it can't change state. It's true, a photon would not be able to measure the passage of time, but stationary observers like us can measure the passage of time as a photon travels at a finite velocity through the lab. E.g., photons CAN change state (and they are massless).

The reason that neutrino oscillations prove that neutrinos have mass is a little more subtle. We already knew there are three "flavor" neutrino states (electron, muon, tau), which we thought were fixed. But if a neutrino oscillates between these, that requires that a neutrino is actually a linear combination of these three states, and hence there must exist a separate basis of neutrino states which ARE fixed. The only way to do that is if these separate three states are mass states, which must be fixed because of conservation of energy. So, a neutrino is created in the sun with a definite mass state and possibly definite flavor state, but as it travels the mass cannot change, and so the flavor must oscillate. A similar relation between mass and flavor exists for the quarks.

Totally gnarly! (0)

fractalboy (1078025) | more than 6 years ago | (#20371221)

The article failed to mention that detection of the Neutrinos was aided by the fact that they were joyriding around Dimension X in a flying car.

Re:Totally gnarly! (1)

harrkev (623093) | more than 6 years ago | (#20371951)

No no no.

They were in the 8th dimension, and they developed their own oscillation overthruster, which they used to escape.

On a more serious note, the tags for this article seem rather negative about Roland Piquepaille. Can anybody explain this? Is he an accomplice of Hans Reiser or something?

Re:Totally gnarly! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20374507)

His submissions range from deceptive and misleading to plain old wild speculation. This seems to be a first for him, a story that is straightforward, belongs on slashdot and doesn't link back to his blog. It should really be tagged 'bravoroland' or 'abouttimepipsqueak'.

OT: Re:Totally gnarly! (1)

andreyw (798182) | more than 6 years ago | (#20375667)

You're new here, right ;-)

Just kidding.

Roland has frequently in the past used Slashdot as a platform to popularize (and make money off) his blog.

Finally, low calorie neutrinos. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20372043)

I love neutrinos, but my doctor said I shouldn't eat them. With new low-energy neutrinos, I can have some without the guilt - - and without my doctor hounding me.

Re:Finally, low calorie neutrinos. (1)

zCyl (14362) | more than 6 years ago | (#20377023)

I love neutrinos, but my doctor said I shouldn't eat them.

It's quite alright. They go right through you.

Anything like High Energy Protons? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20372059)

spilling over into our atmosphere?

Re:Anything like High Energy Protons? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20372163)

Everything is going extremely well

Low-Latency, Direct Communications (4, Interesting)

TheLazySci-FiAuthor (1089561) | more than 6 years ago | (#20372073)

I'm going to wax somewhat sci-fi here and imagine that detection in real-time of neutrinos might have potential application in regards to communication tech.

In my view I see the ability to detect neutrinos as the first step towards a truly peerless communication system. Imagine that instead of radio waves one were to use neutrino emissions for communication. There would be no (or very little) interference (pass straight through any material) and subsequently the latency of communication from any point on the globe would be decided by the diameter not the circumference of the com point's positions on the earth - meaning that communication delays would be greatly reduced.

Imagine if any communications device could simply connect directly to any other device on the planet at low-latency with high-signal strength - wouldn't that be neat!

Re:Low-Latency, Direct Communications (2, Funny)

ErikZ (55491) | more than 6 years ago | (#20372191)


I know! I was looking at this the other day: http://apod.nasa.gov/apod/ap990623.html [nasa.gov]

And that just screams "Portable antenna"

There's no way to grab neutrinos man. The reason there's no interference in neutrino transmission, is because nothing can block it/pick it up.

Re:Low-Latency, Direct Communications (1)

TheLazySci-FiAuthor (1089561) | more than 6 years ago | (#20372489)

That's the beauty and the bane about neutrinos, isn't it? No interference in transmission, and yet no way to detect them as a result. But here in this article they explicitly say "real-time" detection.

To me, that is the first step. There must be a way to grab these damn useful phantom particles :)

Re:Low-Latency, Direct Communications (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20374725)

Well, problem is... look at what's needed to detect 'em: a HUGE detector mass! (huge amount of target matter).

I'm afraid that will definitely rule out portable devices... 8-)

Re:Low-Latency, Direct Communications (1)

tqft (619476) | more than 6 years ago | (#20377925)

have thought about this.

You owe me a copy of next book for this idea

coupled quantum oscillators - you want the pair to have similar but slightly diff frequencies (sub-eV diff equivalent in energy) and the both need to be very stable - the neutrinos then interact with the frequency difference and show up as a perturbation in one or both of the oscillator systems.

Hope you prefer replies to mod points.

Re:Low-Latency, Direct Communications (1)

ErikZ (55491) | more than 6 years ago | (#20379905)

I have no idea if what you describe works, or is even possible.

But it would be sweet if it is.

Re:Low-Latency, Direct Communications (1)

tqft (619476) | more than 6 years ago | (#20381067)

The problem is amplifying the perturbation to detectable in the coupled oscillators without destroying the signal or the oscillators - at sub-eV levels it will tough.

Phase locked quantum oscillators are actually reasonably well studied even though the classical case (and the quantum case) both are tough problems it has been studied - particularly in the area of "Chaos" theory - basically you dump the noise into the environment away from your signal/detector setup

Secret underground Lie Detector (1)

Temujin_12 (832986) | more than 6 years ago | (#20372435)

The Borexino lie detector almost a mile underground near L'Aquila, Italy
I'd hate to wake up finding myself there.

It's about time. (2, Funny)

GigG (887839) | more than 6 years ago | (#20372603)

Thank God, we will finally be able to track the Romulans when they are cloaked.

Re:It's about time. (1)

ultranova (717540) | more than 6 years ago | (#20372753)

In Soviet Russia, the Sun shines on you !

Re:It's about time. (1)

cadeon (977561) | more than 6 years ago | (#20372771)

The thing's gotta have a tailpipe.

Re:It's about time. (1)

iago-vL (760581) | more than 6 years ago | (#20374407)

Speaking of "It's about time", I was starting to get worried that nobody was going to make a Star Trek reference!

geometric nature of reality (2)

Gearoid_Murphy (976819) | more than 6 years ago | (#20372841)

I'm not a physicist but I find such oscillatory behavior fascinating. The first person (as far as I'm aware) to really push geometric relationships of a space as a means to explain its dynamics was Clifford [wikipedia.org] . Einstein went a step further and provided a brillant and comprehensive explanation of the gravity/time/mass/energy relationships as the geometric nature of the space time continuum (correct spelling). Since there are still some really strange anomolies in physics (wave/particle duality for one), its interesting to see strange spatial characteristics manifested by the behavior of a particle/wave (neutrino) moving in a straight line.

Late News for Nerds (1)

toddhisattva (127032) | more than 6 years ago | (#20373121)

I already heard this on hate radio last Friday!

Though it was pronounced "new-try-noes" so maybe that was about a different particle.

Earth Nuke? (1)

toddhisattva (127032) | more than 6 years ago | (#20373249)

When I was growing up, there was a theory that at the center of the Earth is a natural fission pile heating the place up. Makes the continents move.

The experiments of the time, however, did not detect the expected number of neutrinos from that direction. (It was known from human reactors that fission spits neutrinos.)

Now that we know neutrinos have a tiny mass, and are therefore not moving at the speed of light, and therefore they experience time, and therefore they can and do oscillate ---

Do these findings at all bring new life to the Nuke at the Center of the Earth theory?

Re:Earth Nuke? (1)

habig (12787) | more than 6 years ago | (#20374803)

Do these findings at all bring new life to the Nuke at the Center of the Earth theory?

The Borexino results do not, but a similar experiment in Japan called Kamland has seen these geo-neutrinos:

http://www.physorg.com/news5491.html [physorg.com]

Borexino should also be sensitive to them, but I don't think they've put out a paper on them yet, as the real-time 7Be neutrino detection was the New News.

Geo-Reactors and Rogue Nukes (1)

PsiStarPsi (1148481) | more than 6 years ago | (#20380989)

Although this experiment alone may not shed much light on the geo-reactor theory, there are other proposals for neutrino experiments that may. For example, http://arxiv.org/abs/hep-ex/0609041 [arxiv.org] describes a proposal for a deep sea neutrino observatory which could be used to measure thorium and uranium concentrations in the core and mantle. It could also be used to test the geo-reactor theory:

The second goal is a definitive search for a hypothetical nuclear reactor at Earth's core. This theory (Herndon 1996; Hollenbach and Herndon 2001) has not met wide acceptance by the geological community, who have generally preferred the idea that much of the U/Th rose from the molten, early inner Earth as slag, rather than sank to the core as elemental metal. Yet, many geologists say that there really is no evidence against the hypothesis since the conditions at Earth's formation are little known. Moreover, there are peculiarities in the isotopic content of Earth, and most particularly the observed high ratio of 3He/4He coming out of oceanic volcanic hot spots (such as Hawaii and Iceland), which a natural reactor could explain (3He would come from tritium decay, made abundantly in reactors).
Slightly off the topic from geo-neutrinos, the same type of experiment could in principle be used to detect "rogue nuclear activity." Details available below. http://arxiv.org/abs/hep-ph/0607095 [arxiv.org]

Spoon (3, Funny)

QuantumPion (805098) | more than 6 years ago | (#20374711)

In other news, CERN scientists stated that they would have detected 90% more neutrinos, except some jackass was playing an MP3 on the data collecting computer, which happened to be running Vista.

Re:Spoon (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#20374945)

Actually Borexino uses Debian Linux for both its data acquisition and data analysis systems.

No Windows in Vista here @ LNGS! ;-)
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  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>