CERN detects its first neutrinos at LHC

CERN detects its first neutrinos at LHC

Neutrinos are very difficult to detect, especially in particle accelerators such as the LHC. However, CERN researchers have succeeded in paving the way for new scientific frontiers.

Neutrinos are elementary particles with many remarkable properties. Not only are they very light, we know that electricity is neutral and almost passive; They do not interact with the objects around them. According to CERN, “Only one in ten billion neutrinos crossing the Earth can interact with the atom”.

Three particularly disabled points for research in basic physics; This is because particle mass, electrical charge and interactions are three of the basic parameters used by researchers to study their behavior. This makes it particularly difficult to track its neutrinos, which gave them their name “Ghost Particle”. This is very boring for researchers because they suspect that they are hiding some pieces that we do not yet have to put together the big jigsaw puzzle of the universe.

The good news is that neutrinos are very high. They can come directly from stars, but also from various and different phenomena such as supernovae or quasars. They are produced when cosmic radiation hits the upper atmosphere, which causes a reality Particle rain. And CERN troops have long considered making their favorite toy the Large Hadron Collider (LHC).

While playing CERN Ghostbusters

But despite all the efforts of researchers, this phantom particle still lives up to its name and its existence has continued to be sensible since it was confirmed in 1956. It takes considerable effort to find the slightest trace. In France, this is the business of Andres. Located at a depth of 2,500 meters in the Mediterranean Sea, the instrument uses nine hundred sensors distributed across twelve lines to monitor the movement of neutrinos across 10 hectares of water.

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So it is very difficult to keep an eye on it, and each observation creates a small event. This is especially true of particle accelerators such as the LHC, which specializes in particle physics. But that may change The new FASERnu tool will be in service next year. In a study published today, the researchers explained Prototype The compact embedding allowed them the source of the concept of this technologyNotice the six contacts Neutrinos. An excellent first in the context of the LHC.

The decisive source of the concept

Prior to this project, no trace of neutrinos was found on the particle accelerator”, Jonathan Feng insists, interviewing the co-director of the project This is good news, which will make researchers particularly confident about FASERnu’s promises. This source of opinion has also given them two important pieces of information.

Initially, it confirms the principle of FASERnu-based emulsification detection. Capable of detecting neutrino interactions. In principle, it works a bit like that Movie photography. When an image is exposed to light, the photons leave traces, which give the final image after development. The concept is similar in FASERnu; The researchers were able to detect neutrinos by analyzing traces left in different objects in their “image”.

Second, this test showed the exact point in the LHC where they can find the conflicts they are looking for. This is important because it will allow later To get more accurate results. In fact, this experience is only the beginning. Now, the research team is preparing to repeat the experiment with a new tool.Very large and significantly hypersensitiveAccording to Feng. Hope they find out “More than 10,000 neutrinos“During their next test, it will start in 2022.

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A new era for basic research

But above all, it is not satisfying to rediscover this new tool wheel. He also promises to push discipline to new heights. This is because researchers believe that when it becomes routine to observe these “ghost particles” it will be sensitive enough. Identify different types (Strangely enough, physicists talk “Flavors”) Neutrinos. If there is a little luck, it will recognize even celebrities.Antiutrinos”.

These observations may be the key to exploring Completely new areas in basic physics. Mentioning possible ones Standard model Particle physics, and improves our knowledge of our universe and its history. So we offer you an appointment in a few years; Until then, researchers will be able to analyze FASERnu’s first results, which will be established in 2022.

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