Experiment results confirm anomaly suggesting

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BEST gallium target

picture: Located deep underground at the Baksan Neutrino Observatory in the Caucasus mountains in Russia, the accomplished two-zone gallium focus on, at still left, incorporates an internal and outer tank of gallium, which is irradiated by an electron neutrino resource.
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Credit history: A.A. Shikhin

New scientific final results confirm an anomaly found in earlier experiments, which may position to an as-nevertheless-unconfirmed new elementary particle, the sterile neutrino, or suggest the want for a new interpretation of an factor of normal design physics, these types of as the neutrino cross portion, first measured 60 decades back. Los Alamos Nationwide Laboratory is the lead American establishment collaborating on the Baksan Experiment on Sterile Transitions (Ideal) experiment, results of which had been just lately published in the journals Actual physical Critique Letters and Bodily Assessment C.

“The outcomes are quite fascinating,” stated Steve Elliott, guide analyst of a single of the groups analyzing the knowledge and a member of Los Alamos’ Physics division. “This surely reaffirms the anomaly we have seen in previous experiments. But what this usually means is not evident. There are now conflicting results about sterile neutrinos. If the results suggest elementary nuclear or atomic physics are misunderstood, that would be extremely exciting, too.” Other users of the Los Alamos crew include Ralph Massarczyk and Inwook Kim.

Much more than a mile underground in the Baksan Neutrino Observatory in Russia’s Caucasus Mountains, Finest employed 26 irradiated disks of chromium 51, a synthetic radioisotope of chromium and the 3.4 megacurie supply of electron neutrinos, to irradiate an inner and outer tank of gallium, a tender, silvery metallic also used in earlier experiments, though earlier in a just one-tank established-up. The response involving the electron neutrinos from the chromium 51 and the gallium provides the isotope germanium 71.

The calculated fee of germanium 71 generation was 20-24% lower than expected dependent on theoretical modeling. That discrepancy is in line with the anomaly viewed in past experiments.

Greatest builds on a solar neutrino experiment, the Soviet-American Gallium Experiment (SAGE), in which Los Alamos Countrywide Laboratory was a important contributor, starting up in the late 1980s. That experiment also employed gallium and higher depth neutrino resources. The success of that experiment and many others indicated a deficit of electron neutrinos — a discrepancy amongst the predicted and the real results that arrived to be regarded as the “gallium anomaly.” An interpretation of the deficit could be proof for oscillations concerning electron neutrino and sterile neutrino states.

The similar anomaly recurred in the Very best experiment. The achievable explanations once again include things like oscillation into a sterile neutrino. The hypothetical particle may possibly represent an vital aspect of darkish make any difference, a prospective kind of subject believed to make up the broad the vast majority of the actual physical universe. That interpretation may possibly need additional tests, however, since the measurement for every single tank was roughly the exact, although decrease than envisioned.

Other explanations for the anomaly consist of the likelihood of a misunderstanding in the theoretical inputs to the experiment — that the physics itself involves reworking. Elliott details out that the cross part of the electron neutrino has never ever been calculated at these energies. For example, a theoretical input to measuring the cross segment, which is complicated to validate, is the electron density at the atomic nucleus.

The experiment’s methodology was completely reviewed to guarantee no faults were being built in factors of the research, these types of as radiation resource placement or counting process operations. Foreseeable future iterations of the experiment, if carried out, might involve a various radiation supply with better electrical power, extended 50 % everyday living, and sensitivity to shorter oscillation wave lengths.

Papers: “Results from the Baksan Experiment on Sterile Transitions (Ideal),” by V. V. Barinov et al., in Bodily Evaluation Letters “Search for electron-neutrino transitions to sterile states in the Ideal experiment,” V. V. Barinov in Bodily Evaluation C.

Funding: Office of Strength, Office environment of Science, Office environment of Nuclear Physics.

Get in touch with: Brian Keenan, (505) 412-8561, [email protected]

About Los Alamos Countrywide Laboratory

Los Alamos Nationwide Laboratory, a multidisciplinary investigation establishment engaged in strategic science on behalf of countrywide stability, is managed by Triad, a public services oriented, nationwide safety science corporation equally owned by its a few founding customers: Battelle Memorial Institute (Battelle), the Texas A&M University Technique (TAMUS), and the Regents of the College of California (UC) for the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Protection Administration.

Los Alamos improves nationwide protection by making certain the basic safety and dependability of the U.S. nuclear stockpile, creating technologies to minimize threats from weapons of mass destruction, and resolving challenges associated to power, atmosphere, infrastructure, well being, and worldwide safety worries.


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