Nikhef researcher Patrick Decowski in the media on world record neutrino weighing

15 February 2022

World record: physicists put neutrino on ‘scale’ and record staggeringly low mass

With an unprecedentedly precise experiment in Germany, physicists have determined the upper limit of the mass of the neutrino, the least heavy thing we know. The measurement sets the door ajar to a deeper understanding of our reality.

Breathe in and count the zeros: including the one before the comma, there are 33: 0.0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000014 grams. That record mass was noted by researchers when they put a neutrino, one of the most mysterious building blocks of reality, on a very accurate scale. By comparison, it is about one trillionth of the mass of a single coronavirus, or one millionth of the mass of an electron. Never before have humans succeeded in measuring something so dizzyingly light.

Read the article on the Volkskrant website (Dutch only)

Patrick Decowski was also interviewed in an article in NRC (Dutch only)

View inside the main spectrometer of the Katrin experiment in Germany, which performed the record measurement. Image: KIT