High-Energy Neutrinos Detected
- 14 Jul 2018
- 2 min read
Recently, researchers have located a deep-space source for omnipresent subatomic particles called high-energy neutrinos. These observations have made at the Ice Cube Neutrino Observatory at a U.S. scientific research station at the South Pole in Antarctica.
- Detection of neutrinos will provide the scientists a new way to expand the understanding of the Universe.
- High-energy neutrinos are produced by the same sources as cosmic rays, the highest-energy particles.
- Cosmic rays cannot be traced straight back to their source because strong magnetic fields in space alter their trajectory.
- Neutrinos are electrically neutral, undisturbed by even the strongest magnetic field, and rarely interact with matter. The direction from which they arrive points directly back to their original source.
- Neutrinos are produced during natural radioactive decays and all sorts of nuclear reactions in nuclear power reactors, particle accelerators or nuclear bombs.
- However, the most common sources of neutrinos are celestial phenomena i.e. the birth and death of stars, collisions, and explosions happening in space.
Application of High Energy Neutrinos
- The high-energy neutrinos in astronomy enable a more robust examination because astronomers have relied upon electromagnetic observations (studying light) but this approach has limitations because too many aspects of the universe are indecipherable using light alone.
- Neutrinos are nature’s ideal astronomical messenger because it can essentially escape their site of production and bring that information directly across the cosmos to their point of detection.
Note: The India-based Neutrino Observatory (INO) is located at the Bodi West Hills region in Theni District of Tamil Nadu.