Researchers have for the first time ever detected of neutrino candidates, which are called nature’s ghost particles, produced by the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at the CERN facility near Geneva, Switzerland. During particle collisions at the LHC, some of the neutrinos produced smash into nuclei in the dense metals, thus creating particles that travel through the emulsion layers and create marks that can be seen following processing.
The team used a pilot device, made from lead and tungsten plates layered with emulsion, located 480 meters from a key interaction point in the LHC. After this successful experiment, the researchers are now installing a more developed device at the point where the neutrino interactions were detected at the facility, called FASERnu, which weighs in at a hefty 2,400 pounds.
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Prior to this project, no sign of neutrinos has ever been seen at a particle collider. This significant breakthrough is a step toward developing a deeper understanding of these elusive particles and the role they play in the universe. First, it verified that the position forward of the ATLAS interaction point at the LHC is the right location for detecting collider neutrinos. Second, our efforts demonstrated the effectiveness of using an emulsion detector to observe these kinds of neutrino interactions,” said Jonathan Feng, co-author, UCI Distinguished Professor of physics & astronomy and co-leader of the FASER Collaboration.