Number 269 (Story #1), May 6, 1996 by Phillip F. Schewe and Ben Stein|
THE LIQUID SCINTILLATOR NEUTRINO DETECTOR (LSND) collaboration at Los Alamos looks for neutrino oscillations in the following way. First a beam of pi mesons is created by smashing protons into a water target. The mesons eventually decay into a variety of neutrinos, electrons, and muons. Contriving to exclude all electron antineutrinos from the vicinity, the LSND researchers surmise that most electron antineutrinos that actually turn up in their detector must be coming from the transformation (oscillation) of a muon antineutrino. The LSND team has now analyzed twice as much data as was contained in their publication of a year ago. If neutrino oscillations were not occurring, one would expect to see 5 or 6 electron antineutrino scattering events, heralded by the creation of a positron and a neutron. According to Fred Federspiel of Los Alamos, who reported new results at the American Physical Society meeting last week in Indianapolis, the researchers record 22 events (compared to 9 events last year). Federspiel asserted that this new larger excess of events above background constituted "strong evidence for neutrino oscillation."