Mariette DiChristina's Scientific American May 2010-05 PDF

By Mariette DiChristina

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Indd 34 economic exchanges. Collectively, those barriers meant that Haiti did not benefit from factors that typically build capital, wealth and affluence and that might have led to prosperity under independence. In contrast, Dominican independence was relatively nonviolent; the country shuttled back and forth for decades between independence and control by Spain, which in 1865 decided that it no longer wanted the territory. Throughout this period the Dominicans spoke Spanish, developed exports, traded with European countries, and attracted European investors, as well as a diverse émigré population of Germans, Italians, Lebanese and Austrians, who helped to build a vibrant economy.

Only this year have instruments become sensitive enough to detect cosmic sources unequivocally. Neutrinos come in multiple varieties and can metamorphose in midflight. This peculiar property provides additional information about their celestial origins. indd 38 W hen the Nobel Foundation awarded Ray Davis and Masatoshi Koshiba the 2002 Nobel Prize in Physics, it could have chosen to emphasize any of their many accomplishments. Davis made his name detecting neutrinos from the sun— the first of these notoriously elusive particles ever seen from beyond our planet—and Koshiba discovered them coming from the great supernova explosion of 1987.

It can be one of three flavors and have one of three masses, but a given flavor does not imply a given mass, or vice versa. fLavor determines how the particle interacts with matter. νμ νe Electronneutrino ντ ν1 ν2 ν3 MuonTauneutrino neutrino Some cosmic rays are so potent they seem to defy known physics. Neu­trinos can probe the interior of whatever is spitting them out. flavor oscillations When created or detected, a neutrino has a specific flavor. For instance, the beta decay of a neutron creates 1 .

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Scientific American May 2010-05 by Mariette DiChristina


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