I didn't look at the "Beta Decay" link.
Nope, not buyin' it. An "experimental" observation of a "postulated" particle? Pfaff! Thay're makin' it all up!
Pauli's lab in 1930:
Lab Assistant(shrugs):"I don't know, boss. It's apparent the reaction didn't behave the way the calculations predicted. It's as if the Law of Conservation of Energy didn't apply here. The energy must've gone somewhere.....
Pauli(scratches head): "There simply must be an explanation for this, but it's late and I'll miss my dinner if I stick around and try to figure this out. Tell you what, let's say there's this mysterious particle that's really hard to detect. 20 light-years of lead sounds like a good, round, astronomical figure no one will question because no respectable scientist would make up a number that absurd. Besides, who's gonna prove us wrong, at least until we get the Nobel?"
Lab Ass't: "So, what'll we call it?"
Pauli: "Well, it should at least sound nuclear, and I'm thinking it ought to have a little passion. Who better than the Italians to sound passionate?"
LA: "How about 'neutron'?.................Oh, wait, that one's already taken, isn't it?"
Pauli: "I've got it! Let's make it sound like an Italian neutron! How about 'neutrino'?! I think it's got a ring to it."
LA: "Oh yeah, that'll be catchy. Next thing you know, everyone'll be talking about them."
Pauli: "Yeah, and we can have antineutrinos, too. Let's embellish a little: We'll say that neutrinos accompany positrons, and antineutrinos accompany electrons in a reaction. Yeah, I think the whole 'anti' bit should go along with the negative charge. Makes it seem downright scholarly."
LA: "Brilliant! No wonder you're in charge!"
Pauli: "We just gotta make sure this remains our little secret. Now, let's go get some grub."
- As told by Karl Rove
<small>[ 09-08-2005, 06:11 PM: Message edited by: OperaTenor ]</small>