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Print 25 comment(s) - last by phazers.. on Mar 16 at 4:56 PM


  (Source: University of Rochester)
Neutrinos cannot replace our use of electromagnetic waves yet because of the need for expensive, high-tech equipment

University of Rochester and North Carolina State University researchers have found a way to send messages using a beam of neutrinos, which could eventually eliminate the need for cables or satellites.

Dan Stancil, lead author of the study and professor of electrical and computer engineering at NC State, along with Kevin McFarland, a physics professor at the University of Rochester, and a team of researchers, have successfully sent a message through 240 meters of stone using a beam of neutrinos.

Using neutrinos to communicate wireless messages is not a new idea. Neutrinos are ideal for this task because they are capable of penetrating pretty much any obstacle in their way. They can do this because of their neutral charge and lack of mass, which allows them to not be affected by magnetic attractions or gravity. They can pass through entire planets without being affected while electromagnetic waves, which are used by cell phones, radios and televisions today, are blocked by many objects like water and mountains. 

Neutrinos are the better option, but using neutrinos has been difficult because they require large amounts of expensive, high-tech equipment. It isn't practical for use at this point, but Stancil and McFarland are working to make neutrinos an option sometime in the future.

"Using neutrinos, it would be possible to communicate between any two points on Earth without using satellites or cables," said Stancil. "Neutrino communication systems would be much more complicated than today's systems, but may have important strategic uses."

The researchers tested their neutrino system at the Fermi National Accelerator Lab just outside of Chicago, where they had access to the world's most powerful particle accelerators and a multi-ton detector called MINERvA.

The powerful particle accelerators produce high-intensity beams of neutrinos by accelerating protons around a track and crashing them into carbon. MINERvA is a detector found 100 meters underground in a cavern.

Over a two hour period, the accelerator ran at half of its full intensity while MINERvA interaction data was collected as the researchers tested their neutrino beam. The message the researchers sent, which was the word "Neutrino," was translated into binary code. The group of neutrinos being fired were represented by 1's and those not being fired were represented by 0's. Large groups of neutrinos were fired, and they were detected by MINERvA. A computer on the other end then translated the binary back into English, revealing the word "Neutrino."

While this method proved that neutrinos could be a viable alternative to electromagnetic waves, the next step is to find a method of use that doesn't require high-powered, expensive machines.

Source: Science Daily



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Unless I'm Mistaken...
By lightfoot on 3/15/2012 6:27:55 PM , Rating: 3
...all objects are affected by gravity, regardless of mass, even light.

quote:
Neutrinos are ideal for this task because they are capable of penetrating pretty much any obstacle in their way. They can do this because of their neutral charge and lack of mass, which allows them to not be affected by magnetic attractions or gravity.


Even if the effect is trivial, I would still expect a neutrino to be affected by gravitational lensing.




RE: Unless I'm Mistaken...
By Yojimbo on 3/15/2012 7:04:17 PM , Rating: 2
They have no gravitational attraction, isn't it? Their path through space may be affected by gravity because the gravity affects space itself, but it does not affect the neutrino per se, the same way a neutron would be affected? i am no physicist but I thought that's how it's thought to be... I could be way off.


RE: Unless I'm Mistaken...
By Connoisseur on 3/15/2012 7:53:36 PM , Rating: 3
I believe the article is incorrect. Neutrinos have mass. It's just so insignificantly small even compared to normal subatomic particles. Special relativity is preserved.

Also, gravity IS the bending of spacetime. That's how it affects objects. All objects with mass are affected by gravity. Gravity doesn't work ON an object per se like the electromagnetic force. But yes, Neutrinos do get affected. You just have to subject it to tremendous gravitational force to notice a difference.


RE: Unless I'm Mistaken...
By ShieTar on 3/16/2012 9:11:17 AM , Rating: 2
Photons do not have a rest mass, but they are still affected by gravity because they have energy, which equals mass (just not rest mass).

So everything that moves will be affected by gravity. Not that the tiny mass of our earth is enough to have a significant effect on photons or neutrinos.


RE: Unless I'm Mistaken...
By delphinus100 on 3/15/2012 8:45:29 PM , Rating: 3
Electromagnetic waves can be deflected by gravity as noted. But on this scale, it's insignificant. Earth isn't particularly massive, and the neutrinos will be moving very close to the speed of light. Meaningful gravitational lensing usually involves galactic masses..

So yes, it's non-zero, but utterly trivial here.


RE: Unless I'm Mistaken...
By bebimbap on 3/15/2012 8:58:54 PM , Rating: 2
Once a physicist explained this to me and specifically said, light isn't affected by gravity, BUT
gravity condenses/stretches space in which light travels which is called gravitational lensing which is a part of the general theory of relativity.

The light itself travels in a straight line through that particular space, but since you condensed/stretched it, it would appear to an outside observer to relatively curve.
You can also say that the light is taking longer/shorter to travel through certain parts of space but is traveling the same speed the entire time because of this effect.

when light travels through denser or less dense space it will deflect to the outside observer similar to but not the same as when it travels from air to diamond/crystal/water but is actually traveling straight the entire time. It is not the same since gravity would condense/stretch even vacuum space, but the perceived effect is similar.

He said even time itself would seem to be affected by gravitational lensing. If c, the speed of light through a vacuum, was assumed to be a constant anywhere in the universe, since light travels slower/faster through certain parts of space to an outside observer, time would seem to go slower/faster in those parts of space.

There was another article where neutrinos would actually travel faster than light through certain materials, but the same speed through vacuum. If this is true then density of the material mattered. In which case you can infer that neutrinos are not as, if at all, affected by gravitational lensing.

But unless neutrinos carry energy similar to X-Rays which can escape even black holes, I would assume they still are trivially affected by gravity even as a secondary effect.


RE: Unless I'm Mistaken...
By dotpoz on 3/16/2012 6:45:37 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
But unless neutrinos carry energy similar to X-Rays which can escape even black holes, I would assume they still are trivially affected by gravity even as a secondary effect.


X-Rays CAN NOT ESCAPE BALCK HOLES

Nothing can escape black holes except Hawking radiation due to quantum effects near the event horizon.


RE: Unless I'm Mistaken...
By Jyrioffinland on 3/16/2012 11:36:53 AM , Rating: 3
OMG, there is so much stuff in your comment that is NOT true. You should talk to this physicist again so (s)he can get it straight.


RE: Unless I'm Mistaken...
By Reclaimer77 on 3/16/2012 12:13:29 PM , Rating: 1
"Lensing" isn't an optical illusion. Something we cannot observe is causing it. Something with mass, lots of it, to account for the gravity needed to bend light. For now the cause is being called "Dark matter".


This is the future of telecommunications
By NovoRei on 3/15/2012 10:14:34 PM , Rating: 2
Neutrinos beams have a large application potential. Economically and military.

Trade companies utilize dedicated and low-latency fiber networks to connect stock-markets like Chicago and New York. Fast data means fast decisions on whether buy/sell stocks on a market based on other markets. We are talking about 0.5ms on 5-10ms delay. Neutrinos would travel at speed-light.

The other application is for covert communication. Point to point. Research has been made for submarines as they have nuclear reactors, another source for neutrinos.

But how far is it? 50 years or more. Surprisingly all this neutrino communication stuff was patented ~30 years ago. It was a hell interesting back then and still is today.




RE: This is the future of telecommunications
By Black1969ta on 3/16/2012 1:38:08 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
Trade companies utilize dedicated and low-latency fiber networks to connect stock-markets like Chicago and New York. Fast data means fast decisions on whether buy/sell stocks on a market based on other markets. We are talking about 0.5ms on 5-10ms delay. Neutrinos would travel at speed-light.


Fiber carries Light photons, which already travel at the speed of light, so there would be no change in the speed at which a neutrino pipe could transmit data. The only benefit that I see would be the wireless communications enabled by harnessing and encoding neutrinos.

For Instance, direct communication from New York to Tokyo, without following the curve of the surface of the earth, the speed would be the same, but the distance so much shorter, even communicating from LA to NYC would be faster due to the reduced distance the neutrino travels compared to Fiber piped light.


RE: This is the future of telecommunications
By Jeremy87 on 3/16/2012 7:20:42 AM , Rating: 2
The speed of light inside fibers sucks.
And the signal will have to follow the curvature of the planet's surface. Unless you believe the earth is flat.


By Digimonkey on 3/16/2012 8:39:23 AM , Rating: 2
I think he was using the example of cities on opposite sides of the Earth to say it may be possible to shoot neutrinos directly through Earth to the other side.


RE: This is the future of telecommunications
By Paj on 3/16/2012 8:19:18 AM , Rating: 2
Light travels slower through a fibre than it does in a vaccuum, about 50% less, depending on the quality of the fibre.


By geddarkstorm on 3/16/2012 12:40:45 PM , Rating: 2
That is something people so easily forget. The speed of light is determined by the medium it is in, this is why we can slow it to 1 mile per hour, and even less. Also why fiber optics aren't even close to their theoretical abilities, as you aptly point out.


By geddarkstorm on 3/16/2012 12:43:05 PM , Rating: 2
Light interacts with atoms, which slow it down and interfere with the signal. The longer light has to travel in a cable, the more it will degrade from the atoms of the cable itself.

On the other hand, neutrinos interact with almost nothing, meaning they don't get slowed nearly as easily as light, and their signal won't get degraded.

Problem is, because they interact with almost nothing how do you reliably detect them? That and I don't think everyone is going to have room to stick a carbon smashing particle accelerator in their computer as a neutrino modem.


By bh192012 on 3/16/2012 1:30:05 PM , Rating: 2
Also, most fiber networks connect to multiple switches and routers along the way introducing latency. (parsing firewall rules, routing, moving up and down the network stack etc.) Neutrinos would be a straight point to point connection.

Also it would be ridiculously difficult to intercept/sniff.


By phazers on 3/16/2012 4:56:18 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
Trade companies utilize dedicated and low-latency fiber networks to connect stock-markets like Chicago and New York. Fast data means fast decisions on whether buy/sell stocks on a market based on other markets. We are talking about 0.5ms on 5-10ms delay. Neutrinos would travel at speed-light


Hopefully you are referring to automated trades because no human brain can process information in half a millisecond.


Health effects?
By iamkyle on 3/15/2012 6:24:16 PM , Rating: 1
I wonder if it has any health related effects that are any better/worse than EM radiation?




RE: Health effects?
By MrTeal on 3/15/2012 8:20:20 PM , Rating: 5
Seriously? The quantity of neutrinos passing through you already is staggering. If there were health effects, I'd imagine you'd already be feeling them.

From wikipedia:
Most neutrinos passing through the Earth emanate from the Sun. About 65 billion (6.5×1010) solar neutrinos per second pass through every square centimeter perpendicular to the direction of the Sun in the region of the Earth.[2]

Nevertheless, I expect California to ban the technology.


RE: Health effects?
By ShieTar on 3/16/2012 9:25:45 AM , Rating: 2
Well, the number one health related effect of EM radiaton is keeping you at at a temperature at which you can survive. So relatively speaking Neutrinos are less healthy than EM radiaton is.

What I find more interesting is the fact that this article fails to mention the mass of a neutrino detector (5 tons in case of Minerva). This is not something that will be significantly change through technology development, as it is exactly due to the fact that neutrinos refuse to strongly interact with any kind of matter.

Also, with a fibre cable you can easily add hundreds or thousands of fibres to one cable. You can not do that with a basically wireless technique.


RE: Health effects?
By JediJeb on 3/16/2012 2:59:08 PM , Rating: 2
The equipment will have those crazy warning stickers I see often in the lab.

This item contains Neutrinos which in the State of California have been determine to cause cancer.

Of course just like the other chemicals, if you use them outside of California they will not cause cancer ;)


They missed a golden opportunity
By Sulik2 on 3/16/2012 4:39:11 PM , Rating: 3
Cool technology the used the wrong word though.

"Wrex."
"Shepherd."




Effects on SETI?
By dntknwhw on 3/16/2012 11:31:22 AM , Rating: 2
If this will be our future of communication,
what will be the effect on this with regards to SETI?




Cool
By kleinma on 3/15/12, Rating: 0
“Then they pop up and say ‘Hello, surprise! Give us your money or we will shut you down!' Screw them. Seriously, screw them. You can quote me on that.” -- Newegg Chief Legal Officer Lee Cheng referencing patent trolls














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