Ghost particles detected in Antarctica pave the way for new physics

About 47 million light-years from where you’re sitting, the black hole at the center of a galaxy named NGC 1068 spews streams of enigmatic particles”, tells the technological and scientific information site CNET. These “ghost particles”, called neutrinos, “haunt our universe but leave few traces of their existence”. So, every second, billions upon billions of neutrinos pass through your body, without you realizing it.

Their journey iscontinued” in space, but scientists have no choice but “to patiently await their arrival” on Earth to hope to detect them, thanks to extremely sensitive and complex devices. Buried under a billion tons of ice, more than two kilometers deep under Antarctica, is the “IceCube Neutrino” observatory designed to collect their elusive signal, free from interference.

In an article published on October 4 in the journal Sciencethe international team behind this ambitious experiment confirmed that they had found evidence of 79 “high energy neutrino emissions” from where NGC 1068 is located. Which paves the way for new physics: “neutrino astronomy”.

The beginning of a new era

With this neutrino source, we are entering a new era”, explains the research team. “He is likely that neutrinos from NGC 1068 have millions or even billions of times more energy than those from the sun or supernovae”, the only ones we were able to observe so far.

“The universe has multiple ways of communicating with us”, says Denise Caldwell of the National Science Foundation and a member of the IceCube team. “The electromagnetic radiation we see, the gravitational waves that shake the fabric of space, and the elementary particles, such as protons, neutrons, and electrons spewed out by localized sources”, enumerates the scientist.

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