World’s Smallest Neutrino Detector Confirms Interaction

World's Smallest Neutrino Detector Confirms Interaction

Theoretically, it has been argued that neutrinos (particles with no charge and hardly any mass) were capable of interacting with the entire nucleus of an atom (and not just with neutrons and protons separately).

Now the world’s smallest neutrino detector has identified this interaction .

A 40-year theory

An international group of researchers has confirmed it experimentally at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, United States, they have used the smallest neutrino detector in the world (the Spallation Neutron Source of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory) to experimentally demonstrate this interaction mechanism. , recording the so-called coherent elastic neutrino-nucleus scattering (CEvNS, for its acronym in English).

The detector was reinforced with more than 12 meters of concrete and gravel to block interference with other particles. In this way, the theory proposed by the theoretical physicist Daniel Z. Freedman in 1974 is confirmed.

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According to Juan Collar , co-author of the study and professor of Physics at the University of Chicago:

Things get complicated when it is taken into account that the heavier nuclei that we use, those for which this type of interaction is much more frequent, are also those in which the nuclear displacement produced is smaller.

The applications of this tool could be very diverse, in fields such as telecommunications or the search for minerals, for example; and it is also of great relevance in the direct search for dark matter.

It should be remembered that, of all the matter in the visible universe, only 4% is normal matter, like the matter from which all things we know are made. 23% is made of dark (invisible) matter, which physicists suspect exists but do not know what it is. The remaining 73%, that is, almost all the matter in the universe, is dark energy, which is also invisible.