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Neutrinos can transmit messages through walls, mountains, planets

Sharif Sakr

Neutrinos may not travel as fast as we first hoped, but then they have other special abilities to make up for it. Being almost massless, they can penetrate the thickest barriers, which ought to make them ideal message carriers. To illustrate the point, scientists sent the word "Neutrino" on a beam of particles through 240 meters (800 feet) of solid stone and received it loud and clear on the other side. The same approach could potentially be used to send a message right through the center of a planet, making it possible, according to one of the researchers, to "communicate between any two points on Earth without using satellites or cables." The experiment required the latest particle accelerators at Chicago's Fermilab, which flung the neutrinos over a 2.5 mile track before firing them off at an underground receiver, but it proved the principle: Shrink the accelerator down to the size of a smartphone and neutrino messaging could be huge. Or it could die in a format war with quantum teleportation.

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