News FocusParticle Physics

Experiment Uses Nuclear Plants to Understand Neutrinos

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Science  18 Jun 1999:
Vol. 284, Issue 5422, pp. 1909-1911
DOI: 10.1126/science.284.5422.1909

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Physicists hope a novel facility being built in a Japanese mine will shed light on the elusive neutrino--and Earth's radioactive heat source. KamLAND (Kamioka Liquid scintillator Anti-Neutrino Detector), a Japan-United States collaboration, will catch antineutrinos--the antimatter counterparts of neutrinos--from Japan's 51 nuclear power reactors, as well as neutrinos directly from the sun. By studying how the neutrinos behave on their way to the detector, the project members hope to add to recent evidence that neutrinos--assumed until recently to be massless--do have mass.