What is the difference between neutrino and antineutrino?


The neutrino and the antineutrino are antiparticles, they differ in any given property except of mass, lifespan and spin as well as kind and strength of their interactions (in the case of anti-/neutrinos that’s the weak interaction and gravity). Every other property – like electric charge or magnetic momentum – differs by the factor of -1.

Neutrino and antineutrino are a part of the lepton family and the antineutrino has a spin number of 1/2. They are porduced when a neutron decays, releasing a proton, electron and an antineutrino. If are familiar with the particle and anti-particle relationship, neutrinos and anti-neutrinos are basically particle and anti-particle pairs and when they interact with each other, they annihilate each other.

Neutrinos have an almost total lack of interaction with baryonic matter and very minimal interaction with gravity and electromagnetism (and no interaction with the weak and strong forces). During their travels, they spontaneously change into their various “flavors” or types and back again! This leads me to believe that neutrinos can be their own antiparticle. There is a property of physical objects called “chirality”, which is a fancy way of describing the difference between your left hand and your right hand: the same, but different. In the strange and counterintuitive world of quantum mechanics, the orientation of the observer and the observed have a definite effect on the outcome of the observed process, the collapse of the probability wave function as the physics brainiacs like to say. So, my answer is, there is no difference: the neutrino is its own antiparticle. That is all.

11 thoughts on “What is the difference between neutrino and antineutrino?

  1. Thank you for your interesting post.
    Neutrino has a “lepton number” of 1 and this number for anti-Neutrino is -1, so we can say this is the difference of neutrino and anti-neutrino.
    when a neutron decays, a proton, electron and an anti-neutrino are produced. One may ask: why an anti-neutrino? and not a neutrino?
    The answer is in a conservation law named “the conservation of lepton number” which says the lepton number in every reaction is constant.
    each lepton has a lepton number of 1 and each anti-lepton particle has a lepton number of -1.
    So in the decay of a neutron, because at the beginning there is no lepton (total lepton number is 0) the other side of the reaction must have a total lepton number of 0. Hence we have a proton, an electron and an anti-neutrino, not a neutrino.
    Therefore I believe anti-neutrino and neutrino are different.

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