Despite their extremely small mass, neutrinos play a key role in cosmology and particle physics. After evaluation of the first measurement results in the Karlsruhe Tritium Neutrino Experiment (KATRIN), where Hans Fischer Senior Alumnus Thierry Lasserre, it is now clear: The previously unknown mass of the neutrinos must be less than one electron volt. This result is more accurate than previous measurements and raises hopes of discovering new neutrino properties.
Apart from photons, the particles of light, neutrinos are the most common particles in the universe. The discovery of neutrino-oscillation two decades ago proved that – contrary to previous expectations – they have a mass, faint but other than zero. The lightweight particles thus play a central role in the formation of large-scale structures in the cosmos. Also in the world of elementary particles, the smallest building blocks of the universe, their extremely small mass is of importance: it suggests new physics beyond common models.
The full press release can be found here.