   Chapter 33, Problem 8CQ

Chapter
Section
Textbook Problem

When a stat erupts in a supernova explosion, huge numbers of electron neutrinos are formed in nuclear reactions. Such neutrinos from the 1987A supernova in the relatively nearby Magellanic Cloud were observed within hours of the initial brightening, indicating they traveled to earth at approximately the speed of light. Explain how this date can be used to set an upper limit on the mass of the neutrino, noting that the mass is small the neutrinos could travel very close to the speed at light and have a reasonable energy (on the order of MeV).

To determine

An explanation for the given data that can be used to set an upper limit on the mass of the neutrino, noting that if the mass is small the neutrinos could travel very close to the speed of light and have reasonable energy.

Explanation

Introduction:

It is given that the neutrinos formed by the nuclear reactions during supernova explosion reach to the earth at approximately the speed of light.

The energy of neutrino is,

E=K+mc2        ...... (1)

Another expression to calculate the relativistic energy of neutrino is,

E=mc21v2c2        ...... (2)

Substituting the value ofEin the equation (1), we get

mc21v2c2=K+mc2

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