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Left and Right differentiation

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1263238.  Thu Nov 23, 2017 8:01 am Reply with quote

On series H episode 8 - Hypothetical - on the second question of the quickfire, it is claimed that one can't distinguish between left and right without a reference point, but according to "new" findings in particle physics (60 years ago~), it is understood now that there is a parity violation in our universe, meaning one can define left and right based on particles decay.

It is possible to determine left from right without a reference point, using physical principles. There is parity violation in our universe - which one can deduce from beta decay of cobalt 60, where most electrons are emitted in the direction of opposite to the nuclear spin. On top of that - ALL neutrinos are left-handed (this has been experimentally validated with pions decay), and there you go - you just defined left and right without a reference point, so to speak.

Further info can be found in David Griffiths' book - Introduction to Elementary Particles or on Wikipedia:

Alfred E Neuman
1263245.  Thu Nov 23, 2017 8:20 am Reply with quote

Perhaps you could explain what left handed means with respect to neutrinos?

1263249.  Thu Nov 23, 2017 8:23 am Reply with quote

Here I was referring to the neutrinos' helicity:

Which is sort of the direction of the spin relative to the particle's movement in space. I think Wikipedia does quite a good job explaining.

Alfred E Neuman
1263258.  Thu Nov 23, 2017 8:36 am Reply with quote

I donít see how that defines left or right. All that is doing is redefining the terms left handed and right handed to refer to two specific options. They could have use normal and abnormal. Or one and two.

1263365.  Thu Nov 23, 2017 1:05 pm Reply with quote

And even then, they're only left-handed from the same viewpoint that defines their opposite.

Nope, sorry - still a fail I think.


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