MINOS experiment confirmed that neutrinos have mass. The BBC News story does a good job explaining why masses of particles, that are almost impossible to observe, matter so much. “Light shed on mysterious particle” title though seems like a bad pun, since neutrinos do not have much to do with light. If anything, on those rare occasions when they interact with matter, light is emitted, not absorbed. The Register article about vanishing neutrinos is titled more appropriately, but is actually less informative. And just to round up today’s high-energy physics and cosmology reading list – the Why Files summary of the Big Bang mysteries offers a few insightful soundbites on the current theories about the past and the future of the Universe.
A glimpse of the insider’s prospective, from a post by one of the MINOS collaborators:
It’s been a pretty exciting 10 years. The push to get everything together this last month has been exhausting. But after presenting the results on Thursday do we physicists take a well deserved break and party like 1999? Well, noooo. We spend Friday, Saturday and Sunday IN MEETINGS! Today (Saturday) we were there from 8:30am to 7:00pm discussing how further to proceed. We’ve got 50% more data “in the can” that we didn’t yet present (cross checks to perform, fits to perform). Plus plans for more data taking after the accelerator comes up again in June. Plus other physics results we’re still trying to extract. Plus more improved simulations to do in order to yield improved limits. Such is the life of a physicist.