LONDON – It is one of the great mysteries of nature: where do the mysterious neutrinos come from? The fundamental particles in the universe, but scientists know almost nothing of. Now scientists have for the first time, precisely where such a neutrino is created.
Neutrinos are very small. They have no electric charge and hardly any mass. Every second flying there are many billions of neutrinos right through our bodies and through the earth. They are nothing to keep. Also magnetic fields the particles may not wegkaatsen. That also makes it very difficult for neutrinos to catch and study. They are therefore also called ’spookdeeltjes’. To them yet to track down, in the ice of the south Pole 86 of holes of 2.5 kilometers deep are drilled. In which holes are 5160 high-sensitivity sensors, spread over an area of 1 square kilometer. As neutrinos leave a trail in the ice, there is a minimal lichtflitsje to see. The sensors are able to capture.
Force of 300 trillion elektronvolts
Such a flash is on 22 september last year measured. The small neutrino hit the ice with a force of 300 trillion elektronvolts. That is 45 times the strength of the strongest particle accelerator on earth.
Telescopes on earth and in space beat to the measure, and count. It turned out that the particle is hunted and thrown by a huge black hole in four billion light-years away. Previously measured particles came from the same source, is evident from another study. Both studies stand Thursday in the major wetenschapsblad Science.
Neutrinos scientists can learn something about the way the universe is put together.
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