What does it mean to say an Electron Neutrino is associated with an electron?

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Offline Diogo_Afonso_Leitao

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There are three types of neutrinos: Electron, Muon and Tau Neutrinos.
When I search for an explanation about what they are I get the answer that a Electron Neutrino is a Neutrino associated with an Electron and a Muon Neutrino is a Neutrino associated with a Muon. The same applies to a Tau Neutrino.

I would like to know what the word ''associated'' means in this case :)
Thank you very much for reading!



Offline evan_au

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Neutrinos were first detected in radioactive Beta capture (which absorbs an electron) and Beta decay (which produces a positron = anti-electron) - but there was some missing energy and momentum in the reaction. Fermi suggested that the missing energy was carried away by an unseen particle.

There were similar anomalies in later reactions involving Muons, and similarly when the Tau particle was discovered. This gave the three known neutrino types their names.

We now know that these associations are not "fixed", and that a given neutrino will oscillate between all three types as it travels through space at slightly less than the speed of light in a vacuum.

See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neutrino#Neutrino_flavor
« Last Edit: 30/01/2016 00:19:27 by evan_au »


Offline alysdexia

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Why do you say a neutrino travels, other than deafly repetere everyone, instead of goes?

The other generations of neutrinos are isomers of the same neutrino, like the isomers of positronium or dihydrogen.  Note there are three generations like there are three bodies in the π-e bond.