If a neutrino were a superhero, one of its special abilities would be the ability to pass straight through solid objects, which I’m sure many of us would appreciate having when we’re locked outside our house, but why can neutrinos walk through walls but we can’t get ready for fun with forces on even bananas today?
One of my favorite particle physics truths is that you’ve never touched anything in your life at the atomic level. I know what you’re thinking, but it’s true that when we contact something, a couple of things happen.
The electrons in our atoms repel one another because they are aware of the electromagnetic force. Second, electrons aren’t small spheres circling the nucleus like a miniature solar system; instead, electrons are dispersed throughout the nucleus, generating an electron cloud. When atoms get close enough to share electron clouds, molecules for.
But if you keep squeezing them together, the Pauli exclusion principle kicks in, which states that electrons with the same precise set of attributes can’t inhabit the same space.
As a result, these electron clouds collide with one another, giving us the appearance of solidity and the sensation of touch. Because we’re formed of electrons, we can’t shove our heads through a wall, so let’s talk about our super-powered neutrino.
Neutrinos are neutral; they don’t feel the electromagnetic or strong forces that apply to quarks inside the nucleus; instead, they feel the weak force and gravity as they travel along.
They also don’t care about the Pauli exclusion principle because the electron cloud already has different quantum properties.
If a nucleus were the size of a redwood tree, a neutrino would be approximately the size of a virus. You’re a neutrino racing through a forest of atomic nuclei to beat a scale.
What You Must be Aware of?
Now you’re trying to avoid hitting any trees while running. It turns out you could achieve this blindfolded because the trees are around 31 kilometers apart at this scale.
Because the impediments are few and far between, it’s more like a dessert than a dense forest, neutrinos can easily flow through matter.
It’s not that they won’t ever interact; it’s just that it’s extremely improbable.
This is one reason why neutrino detectors are commonly filled with heavier elements by selecting materials that have a higher melting point.
The neutrino interacts with a proton or neutron as a whole most of the time by exchanging the particles that carry the weak force, the w and z bosons, but if a neutrino has enough energy, it can also interact with the quarks inside a proton or neutron, though this has the unfortunate side effect of blowing the particle apart.
Final Conclusion on How Can Neutrinos Travel Through Solid Matter
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