The beta decay process: a neutron decays into a proton and an electron (beta radiation) with the emission of a anti-neutrino
Contemporary Physics Education Project

Neutrino History

The "neutrino" was proposed by Wolfgang Pauli in 1930. This particle had to have no electrical charge so Enrico Fermi called this particle "neutrino" which means "little neutral one" in Italian.

Neutrinos don't interact much with matter so they are difficult to detect. In 1956, physicists Reines and Cowan found evidence of neutrinos coming from a nuclear reactor.

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Traveling Nitrogen Classroom Activity Kit

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The Big Bang

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The Solar Neutrino Problem

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Creating Elements up to Iron

When the temperature in the core of a star is really hot (100 million degrees Kelvin!) fusion of Helium into Carbon happens. Oxygen is also formed when the temperature is this high. When it gets even hotter...more

Binding Energy

A plot of the binding energy per nucleon vs. atomic mass shows a peak atomic number 56 (Iron). Elements with atomic mass less then 56 release energy if formed as a result of a fusion reaction. Above this...more

Fusion Experiments

Nuclear fusion has been achieved in a controlled manner (that means no bombs are involved!!). Right now, these fusion experiments take in more energy than they produce. So they can't be used right now...more

The Hydrogen Bomb

In the Hydrogen bomb, an explosion takes place so that the temperature and density is right for fusion to occur. This fusion results in a sudden release of energy that produces an even bigger explosion....more

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