CERN discovered its first neutrinos at LHC

CERN discovered its first neutrinos at LHC

Neutrinos are especially difficult to detect, especially in a LHC-like particle accelerator. However, CERN researchers succeeded in this, paving the way for new scientific horizons.

Neutrinos are elementary particles with many notable characteristics. We know that they are not only very light, but also electrically neutral and almost inert; They never interact with the objects around them. According to CERN, “Only one in ten billion neutrinos crossing the Earth can interact with an atom”.

Three disabilities for research in basic physics; This is because the mass of particles, the electric charge and the reactions are the three basic parameters used by researchers to study their nature. This makes it particularly difficult to track its neutrinos, which gave them their name “Ghost”. This is totally boring for researchers because they suspect that they are hiding some parts of the universe that we do not yet have to add to the great riddle.

The good news is that neutrinos are very abundant. They can come directly from stars, but also from different and distinct phenomena such as supernovae or quasars. They are produced when cosmic radiation hits the upper atmosphere, which actually causes it Particle shower. CERN soldiers have long wanted to build their favorite toy, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC).

When playing CERN Ghostbusters

But despite all the efforts of researchers, this phantom particle still lives up to its name, and has remained discreet since its existence was confirmed in 1956. It takes considerable effort to find the smallest part. In France, this is the call of Antares. Located at a depth of 2,500 meters in the Mediterranean outside Toulon, the device uses 9,000 sensors distributed in twelve lines to monitor the passage of neutrinos across 10 hectares of water.

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So it is very difficult to turn a blind eye to it, every observation is a small event in itself. This is especially true of particle accelerators, such as the LHC, which specializes in particle physics. But that is about to change The new FASERnu device that will be in service next year. In an article published today, the researchers explained, a Prototype Evidence of the concept of this technology allowed them compact embeddingObserve the six interactions of Neutrinos. A great first in the context of the LHC.

Critical evidence of the idea

Prior to this project, no trace of neutrinos had been observed in a single particle acceleratorJonathan Feng, co-director of the project, who was interviewed, insists This is good news, and researchers should be especially optimistic about FASERnu’s promises. This proof of the idea has even given them two crucial pieces of information.

Initially, this confirms that this is the principle of the FASERnu based emulsion detector. Has good ability to detect neutrino interactions. In principle, it works a bit like that Film photography. When a film is exposed to light, the photons leave marks, which give the final image after expansion. The concept within FASERnu is similar; The researchers were able to locate the neutrinos by analyzing the remnants of different materials in their “film”.

Second, the experiment also showed them the exact point at which the LHC was most likely to detect the collisions they were looking for. This is also very important because it will be allowed later To get more accurate results. Of course, this experience was just the beginning. Now, the research team is preparing to repeat the experiment with a new device.Larger and significantly more sensitive“According to Feng. Hope they find out”More than 10,000 neutrinosDuring their next Test starting in 2022.

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A new era for basic research

But after all, this new device will not be satisfied with rebuilding the wheel. He also promises that discipline will reach new heights. This is because, when the observation of these “ghosts” is routine, the researchers expect it to be sensitive enough. Identify different types (Strange to say, physicists say “Fragrances”) Of neutrinos. With a little luck, it will recognize even celebrities.Anti neutrinos”.

These observations may be the key to exploration Completely new areas in basic physics. Specify what is likely Standard model Particle physics, expand our knowledge of our universe and its history. So we’ll give you an appointment in a few years; Until then, researchers will be able to analyze the first results of FASERnu, which will be installed in 2022.

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