The authors of new work from Indiana University established the existence of a new type of neutrino interaction.
It is believed that neutrinos underlie many open questions about the nature of the universe.
Rex Taylo, professor of physics at Indiana University
A new study has shown that low-energy neutrinos interact with an argon nucleus through a weak nuclear force. It’s like a ping-pong ball: also a neutrino hitting a nucleus transfers only a small amount of energy to a much larger nucleus, which bounces back almost imperceptibly.
The basis for the discovery was a 2017 study published in the journal Science, in which coherent collaborators used the world’s smallest neutrino detector to prove the presence of the CEvNS process: in it, neutrinos interact with the larger and heavier nuclei of cesium and iodide.
Argon provides a kind of entrance, and the CEvNS process is similar to the building itself. Sodium and iodide were one door. Now we have opened another argon door.
Larger detectors perform better with highly accurate measurements, and the CENNS-10 detector technology is easy to scale up by simply adding more liquid argon.
After initial measurements showed that the experiment would not be dominated by the background, the photodetectors and internal reflectors were coated with wavelength shifting: this significantly improved the collection of light. The detector was calibrated with Krypton-83m and added to liquid argon so that the number of photons present could be calculated.
The published results used 18 months of data collected in CENNS-10. Analysis of the data obtained revealed 159 CEvNS events: this is also confirmed by the predictions of the standard model.