Bahcall, John N. Formerly, School of Natural Sciences, Institute for Advanced Studies, Princeton, New Jersey.
McDonald, Arthur B. Department of Physics, Engineering Physics, and Astronomy, Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada. Nobelist.
Last reviewed:February 2019
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- Nuclear fusion in the Sun
- Theoretical advances and experimental tests
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Neutrinos produced in nuclear reactions inside the Sun. Discovered in 1956, neutrinos are nearly massless, subatomic, elementary particles with zero electric charge. Neutrinos have the unique property of interacting almost completely with other particles only through the weak nuclear force. This property makes the particles difficult to detect and study experimentally, despite the fact that after the photon, neutrinos are the most common elementary particle in the universe, and generated in tremendous numbers by the Sun and other astrophysical processes, as well as nuclear reactors (Fig. 1). See also: Elementary particle; Fundamental interactions; Neutrino; Nuclear reactor
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