Scientists find neutrinos from stellar fusion for the first time

International astrophysicists have found a practical answer to one of the most important theories in particle physics.

Specifically as reported by NBC News, a team of researchers at Italy’s National Institute of Nuclear Physics has discovered for the first time the existence of neutrinos originating from stellar fusion . The team has determined that these elusive ultra-particles can be generated from carbon-nitrogen-oxygen (CNO) fusion at the center of the Sun.

In fact, the theory of the above phenomenon was first proposed in 1938, but has not been verified until now even though scientists discovered the neutrino in 1956. In the new study Most recently, Italian scientists observed neutrinos generated from the CNO cycle traveling from the Sun to the Borexino detector at the Nazatorali del Gran Sasso Laboratory deep inside a mountain in Italy. The device consists of an 18m-high tank containing 280 tons of light-sensitive liquid – capable of glowing when the electrons in it interact with the CNO neutrino.

Scientists find neutrinos from stellar fusion for the first time
Inside the Borexino detector.

This is a surprising finding, because basically, CNO fusion is common only in supermassive and super hot stars. A small celestial body like the Sun generates only about 1% of its energy through CNO synthesis. While the other 99% is made up of the proton-proton fusion chain, which takes place when protons fuse to convert hydrogen into helium. Both types of nuclear fusion reactions take place in the core of the Sun. This fact shows not only that CNO is the driving force behind the activities of massive stars, but also the universe as a whole.

Neutrinos are a type of elementary particle whose mass is so much smaller than that of other known elementary particles, that it was once thought to be massless. Neutrinos are known as “ghost particles” because of their small mass and can pass through ordinary matter without leaving any trace of their presence.

For decades, international scientists have struggled with the mysteries that hide the nature of neutrinos. Although in fact, this is the most common type of particle in the universe after light particles (photons). Earth regularly experiences “waves” of neutrinos from space. This type of particle travels through the universe at nearly the speed of light and rarely interacts with matter.

By observing the presence of neutrinos from CNO fusion in the Sun’s core, scientists can calculate in detail the percentage of the Sun’s constituents, including elements heavier than hydrogen such as hydrogen. carbon, nitrogen and oxygen. In addition, the neutrino findings could help explain some important questions about dark matter, where this type of elementary particle could play an important role. In short, unraveling the unknown mysteries of neutrinos could help answer the most fundamental questions in particle physics, changing humanity’s understanding of history and structure. and the future fate of the universe.