Frederick Reines


Frederick Reines

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Frederick Reines
The Nobel Prize in Physics 1995

Born: 16 March 1918, Paterson, NJ, USA

Died: 26 August 1998, Orange, CA, USA

Affiliation at the time of the award: University of California, Irvine, CA, USA

Prize motivation: “for the detection of the neutrino”

Prize share: 1/2


During the beta decay of a nucleus, a neutron is converted to a proton and an electron is produced. In studying the electron’s velocity, it was clear that this decay violated energy-conversation and other laws. It was thus proposed that an additional particle—a neutrino—was formed during beta decay. In the early 1950s, Frederick Reines passed radiation from a nuclear reactor through a water tank and discovered reactions that proved the neutrino’s existence.

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