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askaphysicist-v0-2Department of Physics faculty members Sowjanya Gollapinni and Yuri Efremenko will be hosting an “Ask a Physicist” Facebook Live question and answer session at 11 a.m. Wednesday, November 2, on the UT Knoxville Facebook account. Their Facebook Live session is titled “The Ghostly Neutrinos.”

Gollapinni, an assistant professor, focuses her research on experimental high-energy physics and is involved in neutrino experiments at Fermilab, America’s premier particle physics laboratory, in Chicago. Efremenko, a professor, focuses his research on neutrino experiments at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Before you tune in, here’s a bit more about their topic:

In the world of subatomic physics, neutrinos form the most bizarre tiny entities known to date. They may be tiny, but the world surrounding them is big. Scientists study these elusive particles to understand the biggest puzzles in the universe—from the structure of the atom to the formation of a star.

Although more than a trillion of these little particles pass unnoticed through our bodies every second, neutrinos still remain largely mysterious. These shy particles are notoriously difficult to detect given how rarely they interact with normal matter. How rare you ask? In your entire lifetime, perhaps one neutrino will interact with an atom in your body. Also, the weird fact that these ghostly particles can morph into one another makes it even more difficult to detect them.

Despite these challenges, researchers have managed to capture a handful of neutrinos by building large and sensitive detectors in some of the most remote places on the planet, including deep in the Antarctic ice, miles under a mine in Canada, and under a mountain in Japan.

Tune in to this Facebook Live session to hear more about scientific adventures in the world of neutrinos and how they can help us unlock some of the deepest secrets of the universe.

Are you a faculty member who would like to participate in a Facebook Live session? E-mail social@utk.edu for more information.