June 10, 2023

Taylor Daily Press

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Chinese scientists go to the ocean to search for ghost particles from space

Researchers at the Chinese Academy of Sciences will build a neutrino detector with 55,000 sensors and a volume of 30 cubic kilometers, making it one of the largest in the world.

The purpose of the Large Deep Sea Telescope is to find traces of so-called high-energy neutrinos, which are believed to come from explosions of dying stars, so-called supernovae, and supermassive black holes.

While these tiny, ghostly particles cannot be measured directly, they can sometimes give up their existence when they collide with the nucleus of a stray atom.

The source must be found

This same collision can cause secondary particles to emit a nearly invisible flash of light, which sensors pick up and allow scientists to pinpoint the source of these tiny particles.

A popular theory is that high-energy neutrinos come from the same intergalactic source as the high-energy gamma rays that constantly bombard Earth. If the source of neutrinos can be found, then perhaps the source of cosmic rays is too.

The reason the researchers built the detector at a depth of one kilometer is because sunlight cannot penetrate the darkness, which allows the sensors to detect and distinguish the tracks of high-energy neutrinos from the sun.

In addition, the researchers were not significantly hindered by fish and microorganisms.

“Clean water increases the chance of detecting these neutrino signals,” says Chen Mingjun, project leader. Xinhua Net.

This is not the first time that scientists have made detectors in a region with a large amount of transparent material.

In Antarctica, researchers are searching for the mysterious particles in a giant, kilometer-long ice cube equipped with 5,160 spherical optical sensors, and a high-energy neutrino detector hundreds of meters deep in frozen Lake Baikal in Russia.

However, the Chinese detector is getting a lot bigger.

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