Antineutrino vs Neutrino
Neutrino and antineutrino are two subatomic particles. There are many usages of neutrino and antineutrino in various fields. Properties such as mass, charge, and spin of these particles can be used in many ways to detect and determine properties of systems. In this article, we are going to discuss what neutrino and antineutrino are, their properties, the applications of neutrino and antineutrino, and finally the difference between neutrino and antineutrino.
The neutrino means “small neutral one”. It is denoted by the Greek letter ν (nu). The neutrino is an elementary subatomic particle, which has very weak interactions with matter; which means, it can pass through matter without making many interactions such as collisions and diversions. Neutrino is electrically neutral. The mass of the neutrino is very small but not zero. This small amount of mass and the electrical neutrality are the reasons the neutrino has very little or almost no interactions with matter. Neutrinos are created due to certain types of nuclear decays or nuclear reactions. The nuclear fusion inside the sun, nuclear fission inside atomic reactors and cosmic ray collisions with atoms are some of the reasons for the creation of neutrinos. There are three types of neutrons namely electron neutrons, tau neutrons, and muon neutrons. These are known as flavors of neutrinos in particle physics. The first evidence of the neutrino was that the conservation of mass, energy and momentum were not present in nuclear decay equations. In 1930 Wolfgang Pauli proposed that there should be a particle with very little amount of mass and no charge in order to balance the conservation laws. First neutrons were detected in 1956, and the main source of neutrinos in the earth is the sun. Approximately 65 billion solar neutrinos pass through every square centimeter. The theory of neutrino oscillations suggests that the neutrinos change flavors or “oscillates” between flavors. Neutrino has a spin of ½. A particle having half integer spin falls in to the lepton family.
To understand what an antineutrino is, one must first understand what antiparticles are. Most of the particles we know have antiparticles. Antiparticle is a particle having exactly the same mass, but the opposite charge. But charge is not the only difference between particles and antiparticles. If a particle and an antiparticle contacts, they will annihilate to produce energy. For the annihilation to occur, both the particle and the antiparticle must be in the appropriate quantum states. Antineutrino is the antiparticle of the neutrino. Since neutrino has no charge, it is also proposed that neutrino and antineutrino are the same particle. Particle, antiparticle pairs having this property are known as Majorana particles. Like the neutrino, antineutron also has a spin of ½. Antineutrinos also interact through weak forces and gravitational forces only. Therefore, the detection of antineutrons is also hard. Antineutrino is also a lepton.
What is the difference between neutrino and antineutrino?
• Neutrino is a particle whereas antineutrino is an antiparticle.
• A neutrino antineutrino collision will annihilate both particles and produce two photons.