What is neutrino? - Definition from WhatIs.com
Part of the Computing fundamentals glossary:

A neutrino is a sub atom ic particle with no electric charge . Neutrinos are known for their ability to propagate over considerable distances through solid matter almost unaffected. Neutrinos were originally thought to have no mass . Today they are believed to have mass, but it is exceedingly small, only a tiny fraction of the mass of a proton .

Three types of neutrinos, called flavors, are currently known. One type is related to the electron . Another type is related to a particle called the muon . The third type is related to a particle called the tau . The main difference between the neutrinos and their "relatives" is the fact that neutrinos are electrically neutral, while the electron, muon, and tau are electrically charged.

Neutrinos are emitted in huge numbers by stars, including the sun. They are important to astronomers and cosmologists, because their behavior provides clues to the evolution of stars and galaxies. Neutrinos may give insights into how the universe was formed, how large it is, and what will ultimately happen to it.

Neutrinos are difficult to detect, because they do not readily interact with other forms of matter. But using special equipment located in deep underground laboratories where no other cosmic particles can penetrate, scientists have detected neutrinos and discovered some of their properties.

This was last updated in September 2005
Posted by: Margaret Rouse

Related Terms


  • photonics

    - Photonics is an area of study that involves the use of radiant energy (such as light), whose fundamental element is the photon. (WhatIs.com)

  • laser

    - A laser is a coherent and focused beam of photons; coherent, in this context, means that it is all one wavelength, unlike ordinary light which showers on us in many wavelengths. The acronym laser s... (WhatIs.com)

  • cyberextortion

    - Cyberextortion is a crime involving an attack or threat of attack against an enterprise, coupled with a demand for money to avert or stop the attack. (SearchSecurity.com)


  • Computing fundamentals

    - Terms related to computer fundamentals, including computer hardware definitions and words and phrases about software, operating systems, peripherals and troubleshooting.

  • Internet applications

    - This WhatIs.com glossary contains terms related to Internet applications, including definitions about Software as a Service (SaaS) delivery models and words and phrases about web sites, e-commerce ...

Ask a Question About neutrinoPowered by ITKnowledgeExchange.com

Get answers from your peers on your most technical challenges

Tech TalkComment



    Contribute to the conversation

    All fields are required. Comments will appear at the bottom of the article.