PerspectiveParticle Physics

Scattering neutrinos caught in the act

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Science  15 Sep 2017:
Vol. 357, Issue 6356, pp. 1098-1099
DOI: 10.1126/science.aao4050

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Neutrinos are one of the most common particles in the universe, yet they are one of the most difficult to study. That is because neutrinos, which have no electrical charge, interact very weakly. For example, it has been claimed that a typical neutrino from radioactive decay can pass through a light-year–long column of lead with only a fifty-fifty chance of interacting. On page 1123 of this issue, Akimov et al. (1) report results that call this claim into question. Their work describes the observation of a process known as coherent elastic neutrino-nucleus scattering (or CEνNS), which was first predicted by Freedman in 1974 (2).