January 28, 2022

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For the first time, physicists detect signs of neutrinos on the Great Hadron Collider

Scientific First at CERN is a demonstration of the upcoming 3-year research campaign.

The International Advanced Search Experiment team, led by physicists at the University of California, Irvine, has discovered for the first time the candidate neutrino produced by the Large Hadron Collider. CERN Facilities near Geneva, Switzerland.

In a magazine article published on November 24, 2021 physical overview dIn this, the researchers describe how they observed six neutrino interactions during the experimental run of a pressurized emulsion detector installed at the LHC in 2018.

“Prior to this project, no signs of neutrinos had ever been observed on a particle precipitator,” said co-author Jonathan Fang, a distinguished professor of physics and astronomy at UCI and co-leader of the FASER collaboration. “This important breakthrough is a step toward a deeper understanding of these elusive particles and their role in the universe.”

He said his team received two important pieces of information from the pilot’s search.

The FASER particle detector, which was approved by CERN for installation in the Large Hadron Accelerator in 2019, was recently expanded with a neutrino detector. In 2018, a UCI-led FASER team used a smaller detector of the same type to make the first observations of the elusive particles being produced on the precipitator. The researchers say the new instrument will be able to detect thousands of neutrino interactions over the next three years. Credit: Photo by CERN

“First, the site adjacent to the LHC’s ATLAS interaction point was verified to be the location for the discovery of the clot neutrino,” Fang said. “Second, our efforts demonstrated the effectiveness of using an emulsion detector to monitor these types of neutrino interactions.”

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The experimental instrument consists of sheets of lead and tungsten that alternate with layers of emulsion. During particle collisions in the LHC, some of the neutrinos crashed into the dense metal core, forming particles that pass through the layers of the emulsion and create visible traces after processing. These inscriptions provide information about the energy and taste of the particles – tau, muon or electron – and whether they are neutrinos or antineutrinos.

According to Fang, the emulsion works in a similar way to photography in the age of digital cameras. When 35 mm film is exposed to light, photons leave traces that appear as patterns during the development of the film. Similarly, the FASER researchers were able to observe neutrino interactions after removing and developing the reagent emulsion layers.

“After verifying the effectiveness of the emulsion detector approach in observing neutrino interactions generated by particle precipitators, the FASER team now proposes a new series of experiments with a much larger and significantly more efficient complete instrument,” said Fang.

FASER Experience Map

The FASER experiment is located 480 meters from the Atlas interaction point of the Large Hadron Collider. According to Jonathan Fang, a distinguished professor of physics and astronomy at UCI and co-leader of the FASER collaboration, this is a good place to spot neutrinos from particle collisions at the facility. Credit: Photo by CERN

Since 2019, he and his colleagues have been preparing to conduct an experiment using FASER instruments to examine the LHC’s dark matter. They hope to be able to detect dark photons, which will give researchers an initial look at how dark matter interacts with ordinary atoms and other matter in the universe through non-gravitational forces.

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After the success of their neutrino work over the past few years, the FASER team – made up of 76 physicists from 21 institutions in 9 countries – is building a new emulsion detector using the FASER instrument. While the experimental detector weighs about 64 pounds, FASERn will weigh more than 2,400 pounds and will be more sensitive and able to distinguish between neutrino types.

said co-author David Casper, co-author of the FASER project. Chair and Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy at UCI. “We will find neutrinos with the highest energy ever created from an artificial source.”

What makes FASERna unique, he said, is that while other experiments have been able to distinguish between one or two types of neutrinos, they will be able to monitor all three flavors as well as their antineutrino counterparts. Casper said that only 10 tau neutrinos have been observed in human history, but he expects his team to be able to double or triple that number over the next three years.

“It’s an incredibly remarkable connection to the tradition of the UCLA Department of Physics,” Fang said, “as it continues the legacy of UCI’s founding faculty member Friedrich Reines, Nobel Prize winner in Physics.” The neutrino was first discovered. “

“We conducted a world-class experiment at the world’s leading particle physics laboratory in record time and with very unconventional sources,” Casper said. “We are grateful to the Heising-Simmons Foundation and the Simmons Foundation, as well as to the Japan Science Association and CERN, who have generously supported us.”

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Reference: “The first candidate for the neutron interaction in the LHC” by Hanso Abreu et al. (FASER Collaboration), Nov 24, 2021 Available here. physical overview dAnd
DOI: 10.1103/ PhysRevD.104.L091101

Savannah Shefali and Jason Arakawa, Ph.D. from the University of California. Students of physics and astronomy also contributed to the research.