Neutrinos and Humans
Name: Denzil S.
Even though neutrinos interact very weakly with matter, there is a high probability that over
a person's life span a few will interact with every human (according to my estimations). What would one
expect from such an interaction? Has it ever been observed? I estimate that a few people worldwide die
from such interactions and would like to know if more informed scientists would concur.
If a neutrino interacts with your body, there are two major things it can do, one with an electron and one
with an atom. If the neutrino interacts with an electron, it can produce one tiny burst of radiation
energy, like a tiny X-ray. If a neutrino interacts with the nucleus of an atom, it will tend to inspire
"beta decay", causing a neutron to change into a proton and a high energy electron. This electron may
leave your body. It may interact with your body just like all the other beta radiation you experience in
your life. One neutrino is not enough to really hurt you. If many neutrinos interacted with your body at
once, then you would have to worry.
Dr. Ken Mellendorf
Illinois Central College
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Update: June 2012