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july 21, 2000 |
first direct evidence for tau neutrino

This completes the picture of the elementary constituents of matter, in accordance with current scientific theory: *the Standard Model* , that explains the fundamental particles -what the world is made- and the fundamental forces -what holds the world together-.

Direct Observation of the Nu Tau (DONUT) experiment was developed at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory -Batavia, Illinois, US-; trough a collaboration of 54 physicists from 21 institutions and four countries -United States, Japan, Greece and South Korea-.

Idea came in 1994 and in 1997, using Fermilab's Tevatron accelerator, scientists realised the experiment. Now, after 3 years of painstaking work, physicists identified four events that provided evidence for the tau neutrino.

Fermilab calls tau neutrinos the loners of the particle world. "They sail through space, through walls, through planets, never even slowing down. Every minute, trillions of solar neutrinos flit through our bodies at nearly the speed of light. When they have passed through, they leave no trace, because they almost never interact with other particles."

Phil Yager, a physicist at the University of California, Davis, and a participant in the experiment said: "and because we can now detect the tau neutrino, we can build another experiment that may take physics beyond the Standard Model of elementary physics."
Physicists Find First Direct Evidence for Tau Neutrino at Fermilab
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