'Ghost Particles' detected inside the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) for the first time

For the first time, researchers have detected particles of neutrinos produced through the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN near Geneva, in Switzerland.

In a major milestone in particle physics, researchers identified six neutrino interactions during an experiment at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC).

Neutrinos are subatomic particles that have a very small mass like that of an electron and are electrically free of charge. A characteristic that has made them extremely challenging to detect. 

These neutrinos were created in 2018 during the inauguration of an emulation detector in collaboration with CERN's Forward Search Experiment (FASER).

Jonathan Feng (a physics and astronomy professor at the University of California) said 'prior to this project, no sign of neutrinos had ever been observed at a particle collider'.

This significant breakthrough takes researchers a step further toward developing a deeper understanding of these elusive particles and their role in the universe.

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) works by colliding two high-energy particle beams typically close to the speed of light.

When charged particles such as protons collide with each other at such a high speed, the energy of their impact takes the form of matter in the form of new particles.

In this race at the LHC, the team was working on a pilot project with a new emulation detector instrument. 

Which is composed of dense metal plates of lead and tungsten interspersed with layers of emulsion.

Emulation plates or layers work a lot like old school photography film. When film strips are exposed to light the photons show themselves as images as the film develops.

Similarly, with this instrument, the emulation layers revealed neutrino interactions after they were processed when the particles were exposed to collisions.

During this test the colliding particles produced neutrinos which then broke into nuclei in the dense metal of the plates.

The resulting particles traveled through the simulating layers and made an 'imprint' to be left behind. This detection of neutrino interactions reveals two key things.

"First, it was verified that the position ahead of the ATLAS (a toroidal LHC instrument) interaction point on the LHC is the correct location to detect collider neutrinos," Fang said.

"Second, our efforts demonstrated the effectiveness of using an emulation detector to observe these types of neutrino interactions"

This can be called the beginning of a highly ambitious quest to trace neutrino interactions and explore the strange world of subatomic particles.

"Given the power of our new detector and its prime location at CERN, we expect to be able to record more than 10,000 neutrino interactions over the next part of the LHC starting in 2022," said Casper.

'We will detect neutrinos with the highest energy that have ever originated from a man-made source'.

The FASER team also has big plans for the search for dark matter at the LHC.  

The team is working towards an experiment with FASER instruments to detect so-called 'dark photons', which scientists hope to reveal the behavior and nature of dark matter.

Source: LiveScience

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