Project Poltergeist

This is the story of two genuine scientific heroes. For forty years, John Bahcall and Ray Davis were engaged in a single extraordinary experiment – to find out why the Sun shines. In the end they would triumph. Davis would win the Nobel Prize and, thanks to their work, a whole new theory about how the universe is put together may have to be created.

At the heart of this story is a tiny, utterly mysterious thing called a neutrino. Trillions of them pass through your body every second, touching nothing, leaving no trace. Yet neutrinos are one of a handful of fundamental particles in the universe, essential to every atom in existence and clues to what makes the Sun work. But their ghost-like quality made trapping and understanding them immensely difficult.

What then followed was a bizarre series of experiments. They led from a vat containing 600 tons of cleaning fluid, to a vast cavern in a Japanese mountain, to a hole in the ground in Canada two kilometres deep.

What they would reveal would stun the world of science. It seems that neutrinos may be our parents. They may be the reason why everything, including us, exists.

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  1. what the hell has this got to do with poltergeists , change the name of doc

  2. not working.

  3. Point is, what makes this relevant to our daily lives?

    • It is “relevant” because every scientific discovery changes our understanding of the universe and it’s nature, no matter how irrelevant that discovery may seem. Of course this may not be “Relevant to you’re day to day life” As (and I don’t wish to seem rude) I highly doubt you spend the better part of your time trying to comprehend the nature of the Universe, why it exists and how it works in general. I know that I don’t. I leave that type of thinking to the experts. The point is many people enjoy learning of the discoveries great minds have made. I think it is cruel to classify discoveries such as these as irrelevant for they do change the the way the world thinks and understands and in turn will one day will no doubt become the corner stone of another even bigger discovery. This is how we grow as a race. The physicist Heinrich Hertz who discovered Radio waves in 1857 said that they were of no use whatsoever, if people had held firm to his belief on the irrelevances of  Radio waves we wouldn’t have mobile phones, Television, Microwave ovens, Wifi, radio ect ect.

  4. Fascinating documentary. Could it be that the fact that it took them so long to conclude that neutrinos have a mass be because neutrinos when emitted have no mass but acquire it at some point in their journey through the universe when they collide with some other particles traveling at the speed of light? If this were the case, could it be that the result of the collision be a neutrino with a mass traveling at nearly the speed of light and another particle now traveling at a speed greater than the speed of light? Since we don’t have any means of detection or models that accept the possibility of any particles with a speed greater than c, and therefore have been ignoring or not searching in that direction, could it be that the dark matter or dark energy be composed of these superfast particles? I don’t know if this makes any sense at all but I’d like to hear from someone if it could be possible.