Powered by

Physicists detect neutrinos created by particle collider

Scientists were able to create and detect these elusive particles

1599765619 {For representation)

In a a significant scientific achievement, a team of physicists from the University of California, Irvine (UCI) has detected neutrinos generated by a high-energy particle collider. This invention is expected to expand our knowledge of these subatomic particles, which are integral to the process of stellar combustion.

By colliding two particle beams at extremely high energies, the scientists were able to create and detect these elusive particles, marking the first time such a feat has been accomplished. Neutrinos are known for their ability to pass through matter with ease, making them notoriously difficult to observe and study.

This breakthrough discovery will deepen our understanding of neutrinos and their role in the universe. The findings could lead to new insights into the fundamental laws of physics and have implications for areas such as particle physics, astrophysics, and cosmology.

"We've discovered neutrinos from a brand-new source - particle colliders," said UCI particle physicist and FASER Collaboration Co-Spokesman Jonathan Feng, who initiated the project, which involves over 80 researchers at UCI and 21 partner institutions.

The discovery could also provide a window on distant parts of the universe by shedding light on cosmic neutrinos that travel large distances and collide with the Earth. "They can tell us about deep space in ways we can't learn otherwise," said Jamie Boyd, a particle physicist at CERN and co-spokesman for FASER.

"These very high-energy neutrinos in the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) are important for understanding really exciting observations in particle astrophysics," said Boyd.

Brian Petersen, a particle physicist at CERN, announced the results Sunday on behalf of FASER at the 57th Rencontres de Moriond Electroweak Interactions and Unified Theories conference in Italy.

The results are the latest from the Forward 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.

Neutrinos, which were first spotted in 1956, were co-discovered by the late UCI physicist and Nobel laureate Frederick Reines and are the most abundant particle in the cosmos.

Since the groundbreaking work of Reines and others like Hank Sobel, UCI professor of physics & astronomy, the majority of neutrinos studied by physicists have been low-energy neutrinos.

But the neutrinos detected by FASER are the highest energy ever produced in a lab and are similar to the neutrinos found when deep-space particles trigger dramatic particle showers in our atmosphere.

"Neutrinos were very important for establishing the standard model of particle physics," said Boyd.

"But no neutrino produced at a collider had ever been detected by an experiment," said Boyd.

"Neutrinos are the only known particles that the much larger experiments at the LHC are unable to directly detect, so FASER's successful observation means the collider's full physics potential is finally being exploited," said UCI experimental physicist Dave Casper.