• John
  • Felde
  • University of Maryland
  • USA

Latest Posts

  • USLHC
  • USLHC
  • USA

  • James
  • Doherty
  • Open University
  • United Kingdom

Latest Posts

  • Andrea
  • Signori
  • Nikhef
  • Netherlands

Latest Posts

  • CERN
  • Geneva
  • Switzerland

Latest Posts

  • Aidan
  • Randle-Conde
  • Université Libre de Bruxelles
  • Belgium

Latest Posts

  • TRIUMF
  • Vancouver, BC
  • Canada

Latest Posts

  • Laura
  • Gladstone
  • MIT
  • USA

Latest Posts

  • Steven
  • Goldfarb
  • University of Michigan

Latest Posts

  • Fermilab
  • Batavia, IL
  • USA

Latest Posts

  • Seth
  • Zenz
  • Imperial College London
  • UK

Latest Posts

  • Nhan
  • Tran
  • Fermilab
  • USA

Latest Posts

  • Alex
  • Millar
  • University of Melbourne
  • Australia

Latest Posts

  • Ken
  • Bloom
  • USLHC
  • USA

Latest Posts

Jelena Maricic | Drexel university, Philadelphia | USA

View Blog | Read Bio

Talking about neutrinos to non-physics women scientists

Profile of the Earth seen by geo-neutrinos observed with KamLAND experiment
Profile of the Earth seen by geo-neutrinos   observed with KamLAND experiment

I just love public talks – to sparkle curiosity with our little neutrinos. These pople actually remind how cool is the particle I have been chasing for the last ten years.  It is definitely the coolest around – by my standards at least.

So I was invited to give a lecture to the AWIS (association of women in science). I sincerely support any e ffort that will promote women in science and that will help offset the gap created by  millenniums of   discrimination, but I was a bit reluctant to talk about neutrinos and geo-neutrinos to this group of mostly biologists and chemists (surprise, surprise! – this is where one can find women in science (not physics yet!)), involved in the cancer research, genetics and other areas that have very humane and direct applications. But, I decided to give my best and see what happens. And the weather did not help – it was a cold and rainy Thirsday night.

It was a very pleasant crowd of 30+.  I started after the dinner on slow note with some neutrino properties and neutrino fun trivia and emphasized harmless nature of neutrinos  (I have set this as sort of a personal goal: whenever I talk about neutrinos in public, I will make sure that everyone learns that neutrinos are harmless for humans and environment, even when coming as strong beams from accelerators and trveling thousands of kilometers). So far  so good! Everyone was happy to learn that neutrinos are no danger for health and they were wide awake after 10 slides at 7 pm at night. This encouraged me to go farther and I managed to show them the detection of geo-neutrinos and how we could get thousands of  geo-neutrinos with giant deetctors.

But there is an additional reson why this event deserves to end in this blog and these are the questions I was asked after the talk by the crowd that was pretty much clueless about neutrinos just one hour earlier!

Question 1 (chemist): “It bothers me with neutrinos – why did you look for them in the first place, when they are so difficult to observe. Were there unexplained points in the data? Wrong shape?”. So this woman just retold the whole Pauli neutrino story in front of my eyes.

Question 2 (biologist): “You said that neutrinos have no charge.  Then, how do you know that they are different from anti-neutrinos?” – Majorana here we come, ha!

Question 3(biologist): “You said that neutrinos do not change the direction and stream through the universe. Has anyone though about using them to learn about distant universe?” – here you go Ice Cube, Anaters, Nestor, Anita…

I was amazed how the fresh open minds can point in the write direction right away.

I felt really good even the whole next day. Enthusism can cary you far…

Share