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Looking forward to the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory experiment


Pleasing results from the experiments
Hans Bethe Scientist
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I mentioned the gallium experiment which was done both in... in Russia and in Italy. At first they got different results, but after a while they began to agree quite well, and it turned out that these slow neutrinos, that is low energy neutrinos which come from the initial reaction, proton plus proton, are observed essentially in the right number. The agreement between the Russian and the Italian experiment was very satisfactory and it was of course very nice that it gave about the correct number for the low energy neutrinos. But then the real puzzle was: high energy neutrinos reduce to a half; medium energy neutrinos reduce probably to nothing; low energy neutrinos recorded in full strength; and as far as I can see the Smirnov theory, that is MSW Theory, is the only reasonable way to explain that.

The late German-American physicist Hans Bethe once described himself as the H-bomb's midwife. He left Nazi Germany in 1933, after which he helped develop the first atomic bomb, won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1967 for his contribution to the theory of nuclear reactions, advocated tighter controls over nuclear weapons and campaigned vigorously for the peaceful use of nuclear energy.

Listeners: Sam Schweber

Silvan Sam Schweber is the Koret Professor of the History of Ideas and Professor of Physics at Brandeis University, and a Faculty Associate in the Department of the History of Science at Harvard University. He is the author of a history of the development of quantum electro mechanics, "QED and the men who made it", and has recently completed a biography of Hans Bethe and the history of nuclear weapons development, "In the Shadow of the Bomb: Oppenheimer, Bethe, and the Moral Responsibility of the Scientist" (Princeton University Press, 2000).

Tags: Mikheyev–Smirnov–Wolfenstein effect, matter effect, SAGE experiment

Duration: 1 minute, 40 seconds

Date story recorded: December 1996

Date story went live: 24 January 2008