Jack Steinberger and the Muon-Neutrino

Resources with Additional Information

Jack Steinberger
Photograph by Harry Sticker, courtesy
AIP Emilio Segre Visual Archives,
Physics Today Collection

In an interview, Jack Steinberger spoke about his 1988 Nobel Prize winning research. He states "I did an experiment, together with several other people at Brookhaven National Laboratory … which showed that there is a second kind of neutrino. The neutrino has elementary particles. Elementary particles exist in families of particles … . At the time, the elementary particles which were involved were the electrons and the neutrino. …

[W]e required the [BNL] accelerator, which was the effort of very many people, … and this allowed [us] to make a beam of these neutrinos, and we were able to convince ourselves that these neutrinos were not the same kind of neutrinos as those which had been seen before. They were associated with not electrons, but with something called [muons]. So we were able to understand that there is a different neutrino associated with the [muon] than with the electron.

It also allowed one to understand perhaps for the first time that particles are associated in particular ways, electrons with neutrinos of their sort, [muons] with neutrinos of their sort. Now we know that there are three such families. …"1

Resources with Additional Information

Additional information about Jack Steinberger and his research is available in documents and on the Web.


The Detection of Artificially Produced Photomesons with Counters, DOE Technical Report, March 1950

Evidence for the Production of Neutral Mesons by Photons;  DOE Technical Report,  April 1950; June 1950

Further Results on the Production of Neutral Mesons by Photons, DOE Technical Report, October 1951

Experimental Survey of Strange Particle Decays, DOE Technical Report, June 1964

Experiments with High-energy Neutrino Beams; Review of Modern Physics, Vol. 61, Issue 3: 533 - 545; July 1989


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