back to article Coffee cup-sized MIT machine can SEE actual ELECTRONS, boast boffins

A particle detector created by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology can detect the movements of individual electrons in a radioactive gas. The machine is designed to measure the mass of the neutrino, which is considered to be tiny even by the standards of subatomic particles. In an article published in Physical Review …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Leading edge particle research

    It's nice that someone is developing experimental techniques that don't involve enormous ultracold evacuated tubes, and that still attack really difficult problems. (This is not knocking the size and cost of the LHC, which I consider a bargain for what it does - far more use to the world than an aircraft carrier or a nuclear submarine, but these experiments are basically really elegant physics rather than using a brute force attack.)

    1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Re: Leading edge particle research

      A lot of interesting and useful research could be done with a nuclear submarine. Unfortunately navies generally aren't interested, and where they are (e.g. ocean floor mapping) they aren't keen to publish the information. That aside, though, I agree. It's nice to know that whacking great expensive apparatus and small, relatively inexpensive apparatus both still have their place.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Build a better neutrino detector...

    ...and the world will beat a path to your door. I mean, seriously, the little bastards are so fucking annoying! And they go straight through a rolled up newspaper!

    Jesus, there's another one!

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      tell me about it!

      Not ten minutes ago I was in the dunny, door locked, savoring the private moment by scratching me arse and what do I find? Bloody neutrino right there in the room, bold as brass! I took a swing at it but of course the little bugger just scarpered straight through the wall, as if it wasn't there. Bloody migrant particles - when's the gummint going to do something?

      1. Ian Michael Gumby

        @Mongo, Re: tell me about it!

        If you could see the neutrino, your tin foil hat wasn't on tight enough.

        The neutrinos laugh at your petty government. They come and go as they please and like your puny wall, the government is powerless to stop them.

        Its only when you have a drunk neutrino that crashes in to an atom that you have a problem.

  3. Ian Michael Gumby

    So then did Douglas Adams have it wrong?

    Is it Espresso not Tea that is at the center of the improbability drive?

    A pint because you need to drink a few along with salty peanuts!

    And don't forget the towel!

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re. neutrinos

    Some studies indicate that neutrinos might affect beta plus decay slightly..

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Re. neutrinos

      "Some studies indicate that neutrinos might affect beta plus decay slightly.."

      Could you clarify this post? Neutrinos are the carriers of the excess energy and momentum when beta decay occurs.

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