MADRID, March 21 (EUROPA PRESS) –
For the first time, a team led by physicists at the University of California, Irvine, has detected neutrinos similar to those in the cosmos, but created by a particle collider.
The discovery promises to deepen scientists’ understanding of subatomic particles, first detected in 1956 and they play a key role in the process that causes stars to burn.
The work could also shed light on cosmic neutrinos that travel great distances and collide with Earth.providing a window into distant parts of the universe.
It is the most recent result of the Advanced Search Experiment or FASER, a particle detector designed and built by an international group of physicists and installed at CERN, the European Council for Nuclear Research in Geneva, Switzerland. There, FASER detects particles produced by CERN’s Large Hadron Collider.
“We discovered neutrinos from a completely new sourceparticle colliders, in which two beams of particles collide with each other with extremely high energy,” said it’s a statement Jonathan Feng, a particle physicist at UC Irvine and co-spokesperson for the FASER Collaboration, who initiated the project involving more than 80 researchers from more than twenty partner institutions.
Brian Petersen, a particle physicist at CERN, announced the results at the 57th Rencontres de Moriond Electroweak Interactions and Unified Theories conference in Italy.
Neutrinos, which were co-discovered nearly 70 years ago by the late UCI physicist and Nobel laureate Frederick Reines, are the most abundant particles in the cosmos and “were very important in establishing the Standard Model of particle physics”. particle physicist at CERN and co-spokesperson for FASER. “But no neutrino produced in a collider has been detected by an experiment.”
Since the groundbreaking work of Reines and others like Hank Sobel, professor of physics and astronomy at the UCI, most neutrinos studied by physicists are low-energy neutrinos. But the neutrinos detected by FASER are the highest-energy ever produced in the laboratory, and are similar to the neutrinos found when particles from deep space unleash dramatic showers of particles in our atmosphere.
“They can tell us about deep space in a way we can’t learn any other way,” Boyd said. “These very high-energy neutrinos at the LHC are important for understanding really exciting observations in particle astrophysics.”
The FASER itself is new and unique among particle detection experiments. Unlike other CERN detectors such as the ATLAS, which are several stories high and weigh thousands of tons, the FASER weighs about a ton and fits neatly inside a small side tunnel at CERN. And it only took a few years to design and build it using spare parts from other experiments.
“Neutrinos are the only known particles that the much larger experiments at the Large Hadron Collider cannot detect directly, so the successful FASER observation means that the full physical potential of the collider is finally being exploitedsaid Dave Casper, an experimental physicist at the UCI.
In addition to neutrinos, one of FASER’s other main goals is to help identify the particles that make up dark matter, which physicists believe comprises most of the matter in the universe but which they have never directly observed.
FASER hasn’t found any signs of dark matter yet, but with the LHC set to start a new round of particle collisions in a few months, the detector is ready to pick up any that show up. “We hope to see some exciting signs”Boyd said.