Authors: George Rajna
The most surprising result from beta decay is that nature is not ambidextrous, but is "left-handed."  This week, a group of scientists working on the MiniBooNE experiment at the Department of Energy's Fermilab reported a breakthrough: They were able to identify exactly-known-energy muon neutrinos hitting the atoms at the heart of their particle detector.  In a study published in Physical Review Letters, collaborators of the MAJORANA DEMONSTRATOR, an experiment led by the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, have shown they can shield a sensitive, scalable 44-kilogram germanium detector array from background radioactivity.  The study has put the most stringent limits on the probability of a rare event—a neutrinoless double beta decay of tellurium-130 nuclei. This event can only occur if a neutrino can be its own antiparticle.  While these experiments seem miniature in comparison to others, they could reveal answers about neutrinos that have been hiding from physicists for decades.  In a paper published today in the European Physical Journal C, the ATLAS Collaboration reports the first high-precision measurement at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) of the mass of the W boson.  A team of researchers at the University of Michigan has conducted a thought experiment regarding the nature of a universe that could support life without the weak force.  The international T2K Collaboration announces a first indication that the dominance of matter over antimatter may originate from the fact that neutrinos and antineutrinos behave differently during those oscillations.  Neutrinos are a challenge to study because their interactions with matter are so rare. Particularly elusive has been what's known as coherent elastic neutrino-nucleus scattering, which occurs when a neutrino bumps off the nucleus of an atom.  Lately, neutrinos – the tiny, nearly massless particles that many scientists study to better understand the fundamental workings of the universe – have been posing a problem for physicists. 
Comments: 54 Pages.
[v1] 2018-05-02 07:45:05
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