Physicists have detected "ghost particles" for the first time.
A new detector at the Large Hadron Collider spotted tiny particles known as neutrinos during a test run.
It's the first time that neutrinos have been seen inside the LHC, and it's also the first time they've been seen outside. Scientists can now investigate the world of subatomic particles thanks to the breakthrough.
There are five elusive particles that may Lurk in the Universe.
The co-author of the study said that prior to this project, no sign of neutrinos had ever been seen at a particle collider. The breakthrough will help develop a deeper understanding of the elusive particles and their role in the universe.
100 billion neutrinos pass through your body in a second. The tiny particles are produced in the nuclear fire of stars, in huge supernova explosions, by Cosmic rays and radioactive decay, and in particle accelerators and nuclear reactor on Earth.
The particles are hard to catch. neutrinos have no electrical charge and almost zero mass, so they barely interact with other types of matter. The universe's regular matter is incorporeal, and they fly through it at close to the speed of light.
It doesn't mean that they can't be caught. The Super-Kamiokande detector, MiniBooNE, and the IceCube detector have all detected solar-generated neutrinos indirectly through the Cherenkov radiation. A particle traveling through a light-slowing medium (like water) faster than light is able to create a faint blue glow in its wake, just as a plane traveling faster than sound creates a sonic boom. Scientists are able to see the trails of particle byproducts created after a neutrino strikes an atomic nucleus.
Experiments like these are great for detecting the signatures of neutrinos that travel through Earth from the sun, but they leave scientists with very little insight into the types of high-energy neutrinos produced when particles smash into each other inside particle accelerators. The scientists at the FASER collaboration created a new detector called the FASERnu.
The FASERnu is made up of dense metal plates of lead and tungsten that sandwich light-detecting gunk called emulsion. The neutrinos crash into the atomic nuclei in the dense metal plates. According to Feng, the emulsion layers work in a similar way to old-fashioned photographic film, reacting with the neutrino byproducts to imprint the traced outlines of the particles as they zip through them.
The physicists were able to determine which of the three particle "flavors" of neutrino they had detected by analyzing the particle trails left behind. They were able to see neutrinos thanks to their new detector, which was inside the 17-mile ring.
Physicists have begun building a bigger detector that will be more sensitive to spotting the elusive particles, and will also be able to detect the difference between the antimatter opposites and the neutrinos. The detector will be used to study the neutrinos produced by the particle accelerator.
"We expect to be able to record more than 10,000 neutrino interactions in the next run of the LHC, beginning in 2022," he said. The highest-energy neutrinos that have ever been produced from a human-made source will be detected.
The FASER scientists have other quarries. Physicists think that dark matter could be connected to hypothetical "dark photons," which they are working on to detect.
Live Science published the original article.