Neutrino by Frank Close

I added this to the ‘travel’ blog as neutrinos are always moving somewhere.

Frank Close is Professor Emeritus of Theoretical Physics, and Fellow Emeritus at Exeter College at Oxford University. He was formerly Head of Theoretical Physics Division at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, vice President of the British Science Association and Head of Communications and Public Understanding at CERN.

He is the only professional physicist to have won a British Science Writers Prize on three occasions. He is one of the best writers in the English language regardless of the subject matter. I’ve read a number of science books and I know how easy it is to make scientific subjects complicated. Frank Close explains things really clearly and he’s the ideal writer to provide lay people such as myself with an explanation of the strangest particle in existence, the neutrino (and yes there are anti-neutrinos too).

The neutrino was first postulated by the physicist Wolfgang Pauli in 1930 and it was to be many decades before its existence was proven but along the way it was found there are three varieties of neutrino which can all oscillate that is change form, so although a certain flavour of neutrino may leave the sun or a supernova on its journey into the universe, this neutrino can change along the way depending on what it bumps into.

Neutrinos are without charge, almost without mass, and can pass through matter for billions of years before they interact with anything at all. Billions of neutrinos will have passed through you, your computer screen, and the keyboard while you’ve been reading this review. But now neutrino astronomy is giving humankind views deep into the hearts of distant galaxies and allowing us to see back into the past of the universe.

Published by Julian Worker

Julian was born in Leicester, attended school in Yorkshire, and university in Liverpool. He has been to 94 countries and territories and intends to make the 100 when travel is easier. He writes travel books, murder / mysteries and absurd fiction. His sense of humour is distilled from The Marx Brothers, Monty Python, Fawlty Towers, and Midsomer Murders. His latest book is about a Buddhist cat who tries to help his squirrel friend fly further from a children's slide.

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