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New deep-sea detector measures most energetic neutrino from space yet

New deep-sea detector measures most energetic neutrino from space yet

At the Neutrino 2024 conference in Milan, Italy, physicist João Coelho revealed the most important discovery from the new underwater observatory ARCA (Astroparticle Research with Cosmology). The high-energy neutrino measured is “really special, very far from anything else,” said Coelho, who works at the AstroParticle and Cosmology laboratory in Paris.


how Dearstandard mentionedThe discovery is the first success for the giant new detector at the bottom of the Mediterranean Sea. Despite their electrical neutrality and low mass, neutrinos are common in the universe. Scientists have great difficulty detecting their interactions with conventional matter, so identifying very high-energy neutrinos is seen as a rare stroke of luck.

At the conference, Coelho remained tight-lipped about the details of the observation, much to the chagrin of many participants. He did not reveal the exact direction the particle came from or when the observation was made. The details, the researchers at the conference told Science magazine, could reveal clues about the neutrino’s possible origin. natureCoelho promised to publish those details later. “It would be really interesting to know where the neutrinos originate in the sky,” says Nepomuk Otte, a physicist at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta.

Such a rare event is cause for celebration, according to many conference participants. Despite Coelho’s cautious reporting, many scientists were excited about the news. The discovery of the neutrino was “a remarkable event,” said Francis Halzen, a physicist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

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Despite the large number of neutrinos out there, scientists sometimes record just one neutrino and call it a newly discovered organism. The big detectors don’t measure solar neutrinos, but rather neutrinos from outer space. These neutrinos have extremely high energies and come from unusual, major cosmic events. Researchers are now focusing on the main event that lies behind the detected superneutrino.

In their search for neutrinos and their origins, scientists continue to hope for the still unfinished ARCA. Located 3,500 metres below sea level, the deep-sea observatory is part of a network of telescopes and detectors that scientists have designed as neutrino telescopes. It consists of several glass spheres, each about half a metre wide. They are connected by ropes and anchored to the seabed southeast of Sicily. The deep-sea observatory has been collecting data since mid-2010 and is constantly being expanded. It currently consists of 28 so-called measurement chains (chains), which the team wants to expand to a total of 230 by 2028.