VOLKER STEGER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY VOLKER STEGER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Experimental neutrino detector. Dr Luca Gamberale, Pirelli Research Centre, Milan, next to a neutrino detector built by Joseph Weber in the 1980s. Weber believed that pure samples of very stiff crystals, such as sapphire, could be used to detect neutrinos. Since neutrinos have extremely high frequencies, and are able to travel through the Earth, he proposed they could be used for long distance telecommunications. Neutrinos are fundamental particles that exist throughout the universe. They lack electric charge and have almost no mass. At present they can only be detected using huge detectors such as those at SLAC in the US and the Super Kamiokande in Japan.
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