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Current Affairs

Ghost Particles

Date: 26 August 2019 Tags: Particle Physics

Issue

 

Scientists have revealed new details about ‘Ghost Particles’ that hold key to origin of universe.

 

Background

  • Neutrinos are referred to as ghost Particles because they are extremely volatile, or  particles that can pass through any kind of matter without changing.

  • They have almost no mass. They can travel through the most extreme environments, like stars, planets and entire galaxies, and remain the same. Before the new studies, only two sources had been found: the sun and a supernova.

Importance of Ghost particle discovery

  • Neutrinos are important because they convey information across time and space. They travel through the universe and cannot be harmed or lost, and scientists call them "messengers.

  • Neutrino detections can answer long unanswered questions about things like "distant cataclysm’, test theories about the composition of the universe, and refine understanding of the fundamental rules of physics.

Detecting Neutrinos

  • The IceCube detector became operational at the South Pole in 2010. Largely funded by the National Science Foundation, as well as contributions from around the world, IceCube has been built to detect high-energy neutrinos. It is the largest detector of its kind.

  • India-based Neutrino Observatory (INO) is a particle physics research project under construction to primarily study atmospheric neutrinos in a 1,300 meters (4,300 ft) deep cave under Ino Peak near Theni, Tamil Nadu, India. This project is notable in that it is anticipated to provide a precise measurement of neutrino mixing parameters. The project is a multi-institute collaboration and one of the biggest experimental particle physics projects undertaken in India.