It turns out that the wavelength of neutrino oscillations is about the same as the wavelength of whale songs.
That fortunate cosmic coincidence has led to a collaboration between particle physicists and biophysicists. To quote the CERN press release as quoted by Charles Day
“European astroparticle physicists are developing together KM3NeT, a large undersea neutrino telescope in the Mediterranean, dedicated to tracking neutrinos from astronomical sources. The deployment of deep sea neutrino detection lines for current experiments such as Antarès in France, Nemo in Italy and Nestor in Greece has opened up the possibility of also installing monitoring devices for the permanent study of the deep sea environment: studies of ocean currents, of bioluminescence, of fauna and of seismic activity.”
Wave phenomena are sufficiently rich and varied that professors who teach them don’t lack interesting, realword examples. Still, it’s my recollection that Pain and most other lecturers relied on examples that were tried and true, rather than new and exciting. Now, 29 years after my freshman year, I know enough to find connection between neutrinos and whales to be surprising. Then, back in Pain’s class, I’d have found it inspiring.
If my wave theory serves me right, lower harmonic waves over time have less distortion and can travel great distances. Seems that the now endangered whale worked out communication long before us and in simple ocean water.
Man has for eons considered himself the most intelligent species on the planet. And yet the simple whale song is similar to neutrino oscillations found out in space. Before we lose these gentle creatures, I hope we will come to our senses and recognize the gross injustice befalling a species we have only just begun to understand. We may have destroyed some very good friends.