Solar Neutrinos

The First Thirty Years


John Bahcall; Raymond Davis, Jr.; Peter Parker; Roger Ulrich; Alexei Smirnov

First Edition • September 1, 2002 • 486 pages


Print ISBN: 9780813340371 • $72.00 USD$57.50 CAN

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The papers reprinted in this book depict a research field that is poised to answer some of the fundamental questions of twentieth-century physics and astronomy: How does the sun shine? What is the dark matter? Is there new physics beyond the standard model? This book is of interest to students as well as active researchers in the scientific areas spanned by the reprinted papers, which include physics, chemistry, astronomy, geology, and engineering. Historians of science, some of whom have already used the solar neutrino problem as a case study, will also find this collection a rich source of examples and insights.Solar Neutrinos gives one the special feeling of being present at the birth of a scientific field. The physical ideas are presented with a simplicity that is unusual in review of papers. By delving into the scientific landmarks reprinted here, one can see clearly how researchers-starting with a paucity of data and with conflicting hypothesis-struggled together to grope their way to a better understanding of the sun and of weak interaction physics. Three new papers have been added to the present paperback version; these papers represent breakthroughs in the field since the original 1994 hardcopy publication.

John Bahcall has held positions at Indiana University, Caltech, and the Institute for Advanced Study. He is currently the Richard Black Professor of Natural Sciences at the Institute for Advanced Study and Visiting Lecturer with rank of Professor at Princeton University. He has received numerous awards, including the National Medal of Science and the Hans Bethe Prize from the American Physical Society in 1998. He has written several books, including Unsolved Problems in Astrophysics and The Decade of Discovery in Astronomy and Astrophysics He was recently awarded the Dan David prize for his wide-ranging contributions, given by the Tel Aviv-based Dan David Foundation.

Peter Parker is Professor of Physics and Astronomy at Yale University in the Wright Nuclear Structure Laboratory. Since his graduate student days, Parker has performed laboratory experiments to study nuclear reactions that are important in stars.

Roger Ulrich is professor of Astronomy at the University of California, Los Angeles, and is active in the study of the solar interior using theoretical and observational methods. He first interpreted the periodic fluctuations observed on the solar surface as the solar analogue of terrestrial seismic waves.

Raymond Davis, Jr. retired from a prestigious career at Brookhaven Lab, a multi-program national laboratory operated for the U.S. Dept. of Energy, to become a research professor at the University of Pennsylvania in 1984. A member of the National Academy of Sciences, Davis has won numerous scientific awards, including the Tom W. Bonner Prize in 1988 and the W.K.H. Panofsky Prize in 1992.

Alexei Smirnov is senior research scientist at the International Center for Theoretical Physics (Trieste, Italy), and is also a leading research scientist at the Institute for nuclear research of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow. Smirnov is a co-discoverer of the MSW (Mikhayev-Smirnov-Wolfenstein) effect, which describes how matter can enhance the flavor conversion of neutrinos, and is a leading particle phenomenologist.

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