Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Blank On The Map: Seeing neutrinos in the CMB

One of the really cool things about cosmology is the fact that you can look at the sky and use the cosmic microwave background to determine that there must be at least three generations of neutrinos, without having directly observed them in any ground-based experiments.

Well, actually we already knew that there were at least three neutrino generations from ground-based experiments before we had anywhere near the technological capability to determine this from the CMB, but it's arguably still pretty cool. What would inarguably be pretty amazing is if we could use CMB observations to prove that there were further, yet-undiscovered, generations of neutrinos that we could then go and look for elsewhere. Or, for a particular type of person, it might be quite satisfying to use the CMB to prove that there definitely weren't any more than the three generations we already know about, thus killing a lot of other people's pet theories stone dead.

Read the rest at Blank On The Map