Ghost particles have been observed in the world’s largest particle accelerator

Physicists have long suspected that neutrinos are formed during experiments with the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), but so far the presence of a particle that is extremely difficult to detect has not been proven.

At CERN's particle accelerator, which was commissioned in 2008, experiments have begun over the past three years with a new device that researchers hope could be used to detect the presence of neutrinos. According to the news report, the FASER is located 480 meters from the part of the accelerator ring where the collisions take place, and its operation is roughly the same as the way conventional cameras capture the negative: the detector emulsions separated by emulsion layers. and tungsten elements capable of interacting with neutrinos. When this occurs, new particles are formed from the collision, the traces of which become visible on the emulsion layer after development.

The researchers published six such collisions, according to results published in the journal Physical Review D on Wednesday, proving that neutrinos are indeed formed during the operation of the LHC. Jonathan Feng, one of the co-authors of the study, said the discovery could make a significant contribution to understanding the operation of a fairly large number of particles in the universe that are extremely difficult to detect.

The existence of neutrinos was first demonstrated by Wolfgang Pauli in 1930, but our knowledge of the light elementary particle has been rather incomplete ever since. This is because the neutrino rarely interacts with other particles, making it extremely difficult to observe, which is why it is often referred to as a "spirit particle." Neutrino occurs in nature from radioactive decay, so stars and supernovae, among others, emit significant amounts of such particles and are artificially formed in nuclear reactors as a result of nuclear fission.

The particle plays an important role in a number of researches, including the understanding of dark matter and the mapping of the Milky Way, while in Australia, for example, efforts are being made to find out whether time can move in more directions.

After successful tests, LHC researchers are now preparing a new experiment that will use a much larger and more sensitive device: the FASER, which weighs just 29 kilograms, will be replaced next year by an instrument called the FASERnu, which weighs more than one tonne. they will be distinguished from each other. David Casper, author of the study, said in this regard that tens of thousands of results are expected from experiments beginning in 2022 and that they are expected to detect the most powerful neutrinos ever created by man.

(Photo: Maximilien Brice / CERN)

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