An international team of scientists has for the first time detected neutrinos created by a particle collider.
The discovery, announced March 19 by the Forward Search Experiment — or FASER collaboration — at the 57th Rencontres de Moriond Electroweak and Unified Theories conference in Italy, promises to deepen scientists’ understanding of the nature of neutrinos, which are the most abundant particle in the cosmos. FASER’s detector picked up neutrinos generated by the Large Hadron Collider, which is based at CERN — the European Council for Nuclear Research — in Geneva, Switzerland.
The work promises to shed light on the nature of neutrinos near and far. It could unlock insights about cosmic neutrinos that travel large distances and collide with the Earth, providing a window on distant parts of the cosmos. In addition, neutrinos were critical in developing the Standard Model of particle physics — the current scientific framework for fundamental particles and forces in the universe. Studying neutrinos from different sources could help scientists understand if the model needs tweaking, or more.
“This is new territory,” said FASER scientist Shih-Chieh Hsu, a University of Washington associate professor of physics. “Direct observation of neutrinos originating from the Large Hadron Collider has revealed a new pathway to study the deep mysteries of the Standard Model.”
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