Article ID: CBB517819826

Chasing the Ghost Particle: The Long and Winding Road Toward the Detection of Solar Neutrinos (2015)


One of the great achievements of neutrino physics was the discovery of solar neutrinos in 1968 through the Homestake underground experiment. This experiment exploited a radiochemical method based on the chlorine-argon process of inverse beta decay suggested by Bruno Pontecorvo in 1946 during his work in the classified Canadian nuclear project. In this paper, we study the emergence of the method. We focus on the role played by the problematic status of the neutrino and its antiparticle in its field of application and the influence exerted by the contemporary models of energy production in the sun. We also provide evidence that a first germ of this radiochemical method, in the form of a chlorine-sulfur process, was suggested in a paper published by Richard Crane in late 1930s.

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Authors & Contributors
Perkins, Don H.
Dore, Ubaldo
Mahnke, Heinz-Eberhard
Mein, Nicole
Lucio Ludovici
Mein, Pierre
European Physical Journal H
Physics in Perspective
Zhongguo Keji Shiliao (China Historical Materials of Science and Technology)
Science and Education
Perspectives on Science
Notes and Records: The Royal Society Journal of the History of Science
Westview Press
University of Chicago Press
Scientific American Books
Oxford University Press
Basic Books
Atomic, nuclear, and particle physics
Experiments and experimentation
Physics, solar
Particles (nuclear physics)
Pontekorvo, Bruno
Pontekorvo, Bruno Maksimovitch
Weber, Joseph
Wang, Ganchang
Meitner, Lise
Fermi, Enrico
Time Periods
20th century, late
20th century
21st century
20th century, early
19th century
Soviet Union
United States
Atomic Energy Research Establishment (Harwell, England)
Observatoire de Paris
European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN)
Cavendish Laboratory

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