Sun is a giant thermonuclear reactor that burns hydrogen into helium, making
lots of neutrinos in the process. Neutrinos
from the Sun pass through your body and through the Earth as if neither was
there. As you might imagine, this makes neutrinos very difficult to detect ...
but not quite impossible. The
first successful experiment to detect neutrinos from the Sun was mounted in 1968
in the Homestake gold mine in Lead,
We now understand the missing solar e-neutrinos.
Neutrinos have a small mass, and this causes them to “oscillate”, to
change their flavor from e-neutrinos to m-neutrinos
and back again, as they travel through space.
The solar neutrinos were not detected by Homestake and Kamiokande because
2/3 of them had oscillated to the m-neutrino
flavor by the time they traveled from Sun to Earth, and these m-neutrinos
could not produce the nuclear reactions used in detection.
“Measurement of the neutrino velocity with the OPERA detector in the CNGS beam”, The OPERA Collaboration, preprint arXiv.1109.4897 [hep-ex].
SF Novels by John Cramer: my two hard SF novels, Twistor and Einstein's Bridge, are newly released as eBooks and are available at : http://bookviewcafe.com/bookstore/?s=Cramer .
Electronic reprints of about 170 "The Alternate View" columns by
John G. Cramer, previously published in