Science » Technologies and discoveries
Author`s name Michael Simpson

Can Neutrino Destroy Nuclear Weapons?

Although scientists admit the idea sounds absurd at present, they at the same time think that the project will be quite feasible in the future
An unusual idea was suggested by physicians working in Japan's KEK laboratory and in US's University of Hawaii. The scientists have invented practical application of neutrino, one of the universe's fundamental particles. The physicians think that on conditions of some definite technical progress, a neutrino beam can be used for detection and liquidation of inimical nuclear weapons in the future. At that, a neutrino gun can hit targets from an opposite part of the Earth, a neutrino beam will go right through the planet in this case.

A hyperboloid developed by engineer Garin and episodes from fantastic films like The Star Wars immediately occur to one's mind in this connection. However, although the scientists admit the idea sounds absurd at present, they at the same time think that the project will be quite feasible in the future.

Super penetrability is one of neutrino's unique properties; all modern experiments connected with neutrino research are based on this very peculiarity. There are no obstacles that neutrino cannot surmount. Experiments on firing neutrino beams have been held in laboratories of the world for very long period already. As BBC reports, scientists in the KEK laboratory were the first to hold experiments of this kind.
 
In 2005, the first neutrino beam is to be launched from one part of the planet to another to a distance of 730 kilometers; the launching will be held in the network of the MINOS experiment. Neutrino particles are supposed to be sent from the Fermi laboratory to an underground laboratory in Minnesota, and from a laboratory at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) to the Gran Sasso laboratory in Italy. In both experiments, a neutrino beam will go through the planet.

As based on the idea of these experiments, Japanese scientists calculated that if the energy of a neutrino beam sent through the Earth makes up 1,000 trillion electron volts, the hadronic shower caused by neutrino going through the planet will hit the target and cause a chain reaction in the nuclear heart of a bomb. However, as the process is slow, it will result not in detonation of a bomb, but in gradual burnout of some part of the nuclear fuel. Following this, the fuel mass will become less than the critical mass required for a nuclear explosion. As scientists say, this process will resemble "evaporation"
of nuclear material.
 
Izv.info

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