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Physicists have finally limited the mass of the world's tiniest "ghost particle"

We are full of neutrinos all the time. They are everywhere, almost undetectable, browsing normal matter. We hardly know anything about them – not even their weight. But we know that neutrinos have the potential to change the shape of the entire universe. And as they have this power, we can use the shape of the universe to weigh them, as now has a team of physicists.

Due to physics, the behaviors of smaller particles alter the behavior of whole galaxies and other giant celestial structures. And if you want to describe the behavior of the universe, you must take into account the properties of its most minute components. In a new article, which will be published in an upcoming issue of the journal Physical Review Letters, the researchers used this fact to calculate the mass of the lightest neutrino (there are three masses of neutrinos) from precise measurements of the structure in large scale. from the universe.

They took data on the motions of about 1.1 million galaxies from the Baryon oscillation spectroscopic survey, mixed them with other cosmological information and neutrino experiment results. smaller on Earth, and transferred all this information to a supercomputer.

"We used more than half a million hours of computation to process the data," said co-author of the study, Andrei Cuceu, a PhD student in astrophysics at the University of Toronto. 39, University College London, in a statement. "This equates to nearly 60 years with a single processor.This project has pushed the boundaries of large data analysis in cosmology."

The result did not provide a fixed number for the mass of the lightest type of neutrino, but he made it clear: this neutrino species has a mass not exceeding 0.086 electronvolt (eV), about six million times less than the mass of a single electron.

Related: 9 ideas about black holes that will blow your mind

This number sets an upper limit, but not a lower limit, for the mass of the lightest neutrino species. It is possible that there is no mass, wrote the authors in the article.

Physicists know that at least two of the three neutrino species must have some mass and that there is a relationship between their masses. (This article also defines an upper limit for the combined mass of the three flavors: 0.26 eV.)

In a confusing way, the three species of mass neutrinos do not align with the three neutrino flavors: electron, muon and tau. According to Fermilab, each neutrino scent is composed of a quantum mixture of the three species of mass. Thus, some neutrino tau contains some species of mass 1, some species 2 and some species 3. These different species of mass allow neutrinos to change their flavor, following a discovery of 1998 (who won the Nobel Prize in Physics) showed.

Physicists may never perfectly identify the masses of the three neutrino species, but they can continue to get closer. The authors wrote that the mass would continue to shrink as Earth experiments and space measurements improved. And better physicists will be able to measure these tiny and ubiquitous components of our universe, the better the physics will be able to explain how it all goes together.

Originally posted on Live Science.

We are full of neutrinos all the time. They are everywhere, almost undetectable, browsing normal matter. We hardly know anything about them – not even their weight. But we know that neutrinos have the potential to change the shape of the entire universe. And as they have this power, we can use the shape of the universe to weigh them, as now has a team of physicists.

Due to physics, the behaviors of smaller particles alter the behavior of whole galaxies and other giant celestial structures. And if you want to describe the behavior of the universe, you must take into account the properties of its most minute components. In a new article, which will be published in an upcoming issue of the journal Physical Review Letters, the researchers used this fact to calculate the mass of the lightest neutrino (there are three masses of neutrinos) from precise measurements of the structure in large scale. from the universe.

They took data on the motions of about 1.1 million galaxies from the Baryon oscillation spectroscopic survey, mixed them with other cosmological information and neutrino experiment results. smaller on Earth, and transferred all this information to a supercomputer.

"We used more than half a million hours of computation to process the data," said co-author of the study, Andrei Cuceu, a PhD student in astrophysics at the University of Toronto. 39, University College London, in a statement. "This equates to nearly 60 years with a single processor.This project has pushed the boundaries of large data analysis in cosmology."

The result did not provide a fixed number for the mass of the lightest type of neutrino, but he made it clear: this neutrino species has a mass not exceeding 0.086 electronvolt (eV), about six million times less than the mass of a single electron.

Related: 9 ideas about black holes that will blow your mind

This number sets an upper limit, but not a lower limit, for the mass of the lightest neutrino species. It is possible that there is no mass, wrote the authors in the article.

Physicists know that at least two of the three neutrino species must have some mass and that there is a relationship between their masses. (This article also defines an upper limit for the combined mass of the three flavors: 0.26 eV.)

In a confusing way, the three species of mass neutrinos do not align with the three neutrino flavors: electron, muon and tau. According to Fermilab, each neutrino scent is composed of a quantum mixture of the three species of mass. Thus, some neutrino tau contains some species of mass 1, some species 2 and some species 3. These different species of mass allow neutrinos to change their flavor, following a discovery of 1998 (who won the Nobel Prize in Physics) showed.

Physicists may never perfectly identify the masses of the three neutrino species, but they can continue to get closer. The authors wrote that the mass would continue to shrink as Earth experiments and space measurements improved. And better physicists will be able to measure these tiny and ubiquitous components of our universe, the better the physics will be able to explain how it all goes together.

Originally posted on Live Science.

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