Since it has been restarted, CERN has been determined to expand our knowledge of the Universe. It has already done so with the discovery of the Higgs boson in the more recent past and now with another finding: they have generated a highly energetic form of radiation in the laboratory called high energy neutrino radiation. This is an unprecedented achievement that will deepen our understanding of some of the most destructive events in the cosmos.
In nature, high-energy neutrinos are created only in rare circumstances: the collision of neutron stars, gamma-ray bursts, and pulsars. They also occur in magnetic fields generated when black holes suck in nearby stars. These events are among the rarest and most spectacular in the Universe.
But it is also possible to generate them in a laboratory using particle beams like those at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. Fermilab’s lightning strikes are the most intense in the world. They are about 1,000 times more energetic than those created in the Sun or in nuclear reactors, but they are still well below the energy carried by some neutrinos created in space.
High-energy neutrinos from space have been detected previously, but huge detectors are needed to do so. For example, about 10 million trillion neutrinos from the Sun pass through the Super-Kamiokande (Japan) tank every day, but only thirty of those neutrinos interact with the detector and they can be observed.
For this reason, it is necessary to have another system that allows the study of neutrinos without depending on when they arrived. Or how many. That is, it would be much better to create very high-energy neutrinos on Earth and then aim a beam of those neutrinos at a waiting detector. and that is exactly what they have done in the Large Hadron Collider at CERN.
A group of researchers harnessed the unprecedented energy of the facility’s beams to investigate how to create and detect very high-energy neutrinos. These scientists built what is called a FASER, or Advanced Search Experiment. Thanks to it, the most energetic particles created in collisions can be seen, making it an ideal detector for looking for extremely high-energy neutrinos. The particles They carried more than a thousand times the energy of neutrinos. generated with other particle accelerators.
Scientists will be able to use this data to better understand high-energy neutrinos in space and thus better understand what exactly happens, for example, when neutron stars collide.