Frederick Reines and the Detection of the Neutrino
‘[Frederick] Reines – known among scientists as the "father of neutrino physics" – won the Nobel Prize for physics in 1995 ["for the detection of the neutrino"], nearly 40 years after his neutrino experiments changed the world of physics and set in motion a new way of looking at the universe. ...
Until Reines's discovery, physicists had only theorized the existence of the neutrino – and physicists believed the tiny particles would never be detected. Reines's research laid the groundwork for new avenues of physics inquiry and hundreds of physics experiments that have tested central theories about the structure of our cosmos. The neutrino is one of the tiny spinning particles that are the building blocks of nature. ...
[In 1944 Reines] was recruited to work on the Manhattan Project at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. Over 15 years at Los Alamos, he helped conduct a number of bomb tests in the South Pacific and Nevada, striving to understand the effects of nuclear blasts. In 1958, he was a delegate to the Atoms for Peace conference in Geneva, Switzerland.
But during the same time period, he carefully considered which puzzles of physics he would devote himself to pursuing – and decided on the elusive neutrino. In 1951, he joined with the late Los Alamos scientist Clyde Cowan Jr. to search for the particle. After a few tests at the nuclear facility in Hanford, Wash., the two men moved to the Savannah River reactor in South Carolina. They proved the existence of the neutrino in 1956.'
Additional information about Frederick Reines and his research is available in full-text and on the Web.
On the Detection of the Free Neutrino, DOE Technical Report, August 1953
The Free Antineutrino Absorption Cross Section. Part I. Measurement of the Free Antineutrino Absorption Cross Section. Part II. Expected Cross Section from Measurements of Fission Fragment Electron Spectrum, DOE Technical Report, June 1958
Neutrino Experiments at Reactors, DOE Technical Report, September 1968
Status and Aims of the DUMAND Neutrino Project: The Ocean as a Neutrino Detector, DOE Technical Report, July 1976
The Neutrino: From Poltergeist to Particle; Review of Modern Physics, Vol. 68, Issue 2: 317–327, April 1996
Additional Web Pages:
Distinguished Professor Emeritus Frederick Reines [1918-1998] Honors and Awards, Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of California, Irvine (UCI)