Elusive Neutrino Couplings Observed

These guys look like they are getting their bong ready, but in truth, they are up to something else. Everybody knows that neutrinos are everywhere, yet, nearly impossible to detect. A group of scientists have managed to pull off over 100 detection events over the course of about a year and a half using an entirely new method. From the abstract of their paper:

The coherent elastic scattering of neutrinos off nuclei has eluded detection for four decades, even though its predicted cross-section is the largest by far of all low-energy neutrino couplings. This mode of interaction provides new opportunities to study neutrino properties, and leads to a miniaturization of detector size, with potential technological applications. We observe this process at a 6.7-sigma confidence level, using a low-background, 14.6-kg CsI[Na] scintillator exposed to the neutrino emissions from the Spallation Neutron Source (SNS) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Characteristic signatures in energy and time, predicted by the Standard Model for this process, are observed in high signal-to-background conditions. Improved constraints on non-standard neutrino interactions with quarks are derived from this initial dataset.

A summary of the story, which I think is not behind a paywall, is here. The science article is here.


  1. #1 Omega Centauri
    August 5, 2017

    Does this open up new possibilities for neutrino astronomy?

  2. #2 Wow
    August 6, 2017

    Not really. The effect could at best be to collect and not collimate neutrinos so that the detector is smaller. Which is not what you want to do to make an image capture device.

    Think of it like the fresnel devices used to make high efficiency solar panels. These just make the panel capture more area of sunlight than the PV panel consists of.

    And the biggest problem is still that there are so few captured. You need a lot for imaging. Actually uncountable numbers to make an image. Because each image cell requires a full range of detection (e.g. 8 bit “greyscale” needs up to 256 counts) and any usable image needs to have many pixels, else all you’ve done is put a few detectors to look at the same spot close together when they don’t have to do that.

    It’s also a proof of the current standard model, since it should have had the cross section and now it’s been shown to exist.

  3. #3 Craig Thomas
    August 6, 2017

    What’s a bong?

  4. #4 Wow
    August 7, 2017

    Has google, alexa, siri and a thousand other programs putting the entire world at their fingertips.

    Doesn’t use any of them…

    Not knowing slang? Fair enough, clearly it’s less common than I thought. Not knowing what the internet can do while on it..?

  5. […] Elusive Neutrino Couplings Observed […]