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Neutrinos Throw Their Weight Around

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Science  11 Sep 1998:
Vol. 281, Issue 5383, pp. 1594-1595
DOI: 10.1126/science.281.5383.1594

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This summer, physicists working with the giant Super-Kamiokande detector in Japan announced that they had seen solid evidence for neutrino mass (Science, 12 June, p. 1689). Theorists are now speculating about how the gravitational pull of swarms of neutrinos might have gently sculpted the distribution of galaxies in the early universe. They are also puzzling over the peculiar fact that neutrinos are so light, which may hint at the existence of unseen, heavier particles that could help sew up some holes in the so-called Standard Model--physicists' current picture of subatomic particles and how they interact. And they are worrying about how to reconcile the Super-Kamiokande result with the weaker hints of mass from other experiments--a picture, say some, that could only be made consistent by assuming the existence of another neutrino, even more ghostlike than known neutrino types.