Ghostly Particles in Universe: Know More


Demonstrating the presence of neutrinos is extremely complicated, however, because most of the ghostly particles travel right through the entire Earth without leaving a trace.

One of the researchers Penn State physicist Doug Coven said, "One hundred billion natures go through your thumbnails every second, but in all the possibilities, none of them will ever be killed at your nuclear thumb in your lifetime".

When a particularly high-energy neutrino is captured, IceCube sends out an alert. A blazar is a type of galaxy with a central black hole that spins at high speed and spews streams of neutrinos in opposing directions.

Neutrinos are among the most plentiful particles in the universe - far outnumbering the protons and electrons out of which we are composed.

According to scientists, the discovery of these particles allows them to study the universe in a brand-new way, hinting that this might allow them to track the origin of cosmic rays for the very first time.

IceCube, an global observatory run by 300 scientists from 12 countries, consists of more than 5,000 sensitive photomultiplier tubes embedded in grid encompassing 1 cubic kilometer of ice at the South Pole.

Following the September 22 detection, the IceCube team quickly scoured the detector's archival data - NSF's IceCube is always on and looking in all directions, including through the Earth to the sky in the Northern Hemisphere - and discovered a flare of neutrinos from December 2014, coincident with the same blazar, TXS 0506+056, which scientists have nicknamed "the Texas source". Because they interact with matter at only very small subatomic distances and have nearly no mass - hence their nickname "ghost particle" - neutrinos travel in a straight line from where they originate, breezing through planets, stars and entire galaxies, giving scientists a pointer nearly directly to their source.

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Scientists then determined that other neutrinos earlier detected by IceCube originated from the same source. Therefore, one of its main components is a cubic kilometer of this ice, under the continent's surface, near the NSF South Pole research station.

Five years ago, IceCube furnished the first evidence of high-energy neutrinos from the depths of outer space. They rarely interact with their environment because they don't have electric charges. A specific feature of blazars is that one of these jets happens to point towards Earth, making its emission appear exceptionally bright.

Still, blazars weren't the prime suspects in the search for the source of cosmic rays. This time Scientists by using the data from a detector which was embedded in a great block of ice at the South Pole, get to trace that an eerie and elusive particle's presence.

Canadian scientists are part of an global team that has for the first time tracked a tiny, high-energy twist of matter to its source in deep space. The neutrino we're talking about had an energy of about 300 teraelconds - more than 40 times what the protons in the largest particle accelerator in the world have reached.

When a neutrino interacts with the nucleus of an atom, it creates a secondary charged particle, which produces a cone of blue light that can be detected.

Scientists claim that the majority of neutrinos in our planet are from the sun. This includes the 8.4-meter Subaru Telescope on Maunakea, which was used to observe the host galaxy of TXS 0506+056 in an attempt to measure its distance, and thus determine the intrinsic luminosity, or energy output, of the blazar. "We're beginning to have more than one sense". Moreover, a review of previous IceCube data revealed that more neutrinos detected from the previous years were coming from the same blazar.