Muon neutrino

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Muon neutrino
CompositionElementary particle
InteractionsWeak, Gravity
AntiparticleMuon antineutrino (
DiscoveredLeon Lederman, Melvin Schwartz and Jack Steinberger (1962)
MassSmall but non-zero. See neutrino mass.
Electric charge0 e
Color chargeNo
Weak isospin1/2
Weak hypercharge−1
Chiralityleft-handed (for right-handed neutrinos, see sterile neutrino)

The muon neutrino is an elementary particle which has the symbol
and zero electric charge. Together with the muon it forms the second generation of leptons, hence the name muon neutrino. It was discovered in 1962 by Leon Lederman, Melvin Schwartz and Jack Steinberger. The discovery was rewarded with the 1988 Nobel Prize in Physics.


The muon neutrino or "neutretto" was hypothesized to exist by a number of physicists in the 1940s.[1] The first paper on it may be Shoichi Sakata and Takesi Inoue's two-meson theory of 1942, which also involved two neutrinos.[2][3] In 1962 Leon M. Lederman, Melvin Schwartz and Jack Steinberger proved the existence of the muon neutrino in an experiment at the Brookhaven National Laboratory.[4] This earned them the 1988 Nobel Prize.[5]


In September 2011 OPERA researchers reported that muon neutrinos were apparently traveling at faster than light speed. This result was confirmed again in a second experiment in November 2011. These results were viewed skeptically by the scientific community at large, and more experiments investigated the phenomenon. In March 2012 the ICARUS team published results directly contradicting the results of OPERA.[6]

Later, in July 2012, the apparent anomalous super-luminous propagation of neutrinos was traced to a faulty element of the fibre optic timing system in Gran-Sasso. After it was corrected the neutrinos appeared to travel with the speed of light within the errors of the experiment.[7]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ I.V. Anicin (2005). "The Neutrino - Its Past, Present and Future". arXiv:physics/0503172.
  2. ^ Shoichi Sakata; Takesi Inoue (1942). "Chukanshi to Yukawa ryushi no Kankei ni tuite". Nippon Suugaku-Butsuri Gakkaishi. 16. doi:10.11429/subutsukaishi1927.16.232.
  3. ^ Shoichi Sakata; Takesi Inoue (1946). "On the correlations between mesons and Yukawa particles" (PDF). Progress of Theoretical Physics. 1 (4): 143–150. Bibcode:1946PThPh...1..143S. doi:10.1143/PTP.1.143.
  4. ^ G. Danby; J.-M. Gaillard; K. Goulianos; L. M. Lederman; N. B. Mistry; M. Schwartz; J. Steinberger (1962). "Observation of high-energy neutrino reactions and the existence of two kinds of neutrinos". Physical Review Letters. 9 (1): 36. Bibcode:1962PhRvL...9...36D. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.9.36. S2CID 120314867.
  5. ^ "The Nobel Prize in Physics 1988". The Nobel Foundation. Retrieved 2010-02-11.
  6. ^ Anicin, Ivan V.; Aprili, P.; Baiboussinov, B.; Baldo Ceolin, M.; Benetti, P.; Calligarich, E.; Canci, N.; Centro, S.; Cesana, A.; Cieślik, K.; Cline, D.B.; Cocco, A.G.; Dabrowska, A.; Dequal, D.; Dermenev, A.; Dolfini, R.; Farnese, C.; Fava, A.; Ferrari, A.; Fiorillo, G.; Gibin, D.; Gigli Berzolari, A.; Gninenko, S.; Guglielmi, A.; Haranczyk, M.; Holeczek, J.; Ivashkin, A.; Kisiel, J.; Kochanek, I.; et al. (2012). "Measurement of the neutrino velocity with the ICARUS detector at the CNGS beam". Physics Letters B. 713 (1): 17–22. arXiv:1203.3433. Bibcode:2012PhLB..713...17A. doi:10.1016/j.physletb.2012.05.033. S2CID 55397067.
  7. ^ "OPERA experiment reports anomaly in flight time of neutrinos from CERN to Gran Sasso (UPDATE 8 June 2012)". CERN press office. 8 June 2012. Retrieved 19 April 2013.

Further reading[edit]