The beta decay process: a neutron decays into a proton and an electron
(beta radiation) with the emission of a anti-neutrino
Contemporary Physics Education Project
A movie of the beta decay process (467K MPEG) Movie courtesy of University of Oregon
The existence of the "neutrino"
was proposed by Wolfgang Pauli in 1930. This particle had to be electrically neutral so Enrico Fermi called this particle "neutrino" which means
"little neutral one" in Italian.
Neutrinos have little interaction with matter so they are difficult
to detect. In 1956, physicists Reines and Cowan eventually found evidence of neutrino interactions originating in a nuclear reactor.
Fred Reines was a co-winner of the Noble Prize in physics in 1995.
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