June 10, 2013

What material/energy can stop/contain neutrinos?

This is a very confusing question. Neutrinos interact with other matter through the weak force, so I suppose any matter could interact with the neutrino, just such an interaction would be highly unlikely.
What you could be doing is confusing some terminology. There exists a phenomenon called Electron Capture (look it up on wikipedia) by which a neutrino gets produced.
If you mean, do neutrinos get pulled into other material like electrons get pulled into nuclides, then no, I don’t believe that is possible (or at least, we don’t think it’s possible right now).
Any material can stop a neutrino, in fact, that’s sort of how we detect them. Basically, we take a tank and fill it up with water (or some other material), line the inside with photomultiplier tubes (which detect light) and wait for a neutrino to come along. When a neutrino does come along, it might create an electron or muon (at least, that’s how it works at Super-Kamiokande, there are other detectors that do other things). This resultant particle can produce light through Cherenkov radiation (again, wikipedia), which is detected by the photomultiplier tubes. We can then tell how far the particle traveled in the detector. The particle creates a ring of light on the detector. Therefore, if we see a ring, we know the particle went some distance and then stopped (and then we can look at the thickness of the ring to determine how far it traveled). If we see a filled-in circle, we know that the particle went all the way through the detector since it was producing these smaller and smaller concentric rings as it traveled along its path.


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