A Proposed Experimental Test of the Neutrino Theory

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The experiment outlined in this proposal has the possibility of giving an answer to the important question, 'Does the neutrino exist'? It is unfortunate that at the present time, there is no convincing experimental that neutrinos exist. Two recent articles review the status of various experiments which could give information about neutrinos. In general, these experiments give results in agreement with the predictions of beta decay theory. But actually, if even the most complete of the 'recoil type' experiments could be performed satisfactorily, all that could be concluded would be the following: the energy and momentum relationships in beta decay ... continued below

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Alvarez, Luis W. April 18, 1949.

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Description

The experiment outlined in this proposal has the possibility of giving an answer to the important question, 'Does the neutrino exist'? It is unfortunate that at the present time, there is no convincing experimental that neutrinos exist. Two recent articles review the status of various experiments which could give information about neutrinos. In general, these experiments give results in agreement with the predictions of beta decay theory. But actually, if even the most complete of the 'recoil type' experiments could be performed satisfactorily, all that could be concluded would be the following: the energy and momentum relationships in beta decay are consistent with the theory that the known energy deficit is carried away by a single particle. But to emphasize the fact that this would not constitute a proof of the real existence of that particle, the following quotations from the review articles should be noted. Crane says, 'All of the evidence about the neutrino is, as already pointed out, indirect in character since neutrinos have not yet been caught after leaving the nucleus. It can, of course, be argued on very general grounds that, if energy is not conserved between nucleus and electron, momentum should not be expected to be conserved either, and in consequence of this, it has often been remarked that the recoiled experiments add nothing that is really new to their knowledge'. Allen concludes his article by saying, 'Practically all the experimental evidence indicates that there is an apparent non-conservation of momentum in the beta decay process, and that the neutrino hypothesis is at least one explanation of the missing momentum'.

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  • Report No.: UCRL--328
  • Report No.: AECU-305
  • Grant Number: DE-AC02-05CH11231
  • DOI: 10.2172/929771 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 929771
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc897456

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Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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  • April 18, 1949

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 27, 2016, 1:39 a.m.

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  • Nov. 3, 2016, 7:59 p.m.

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Alvarez, Luis W. A Proposed Experimental Test of the Neutrino Theory, report, April 18, 1949; Berkeley, California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc897456/: accessed October 19, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.