Scientific first: Physicists detected neutrinos created by a particle collider

Discovery promises to help physicists understand the nature of the universe’s most abundant particle.

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Neutrinos are the most abundant particle in the cosmos. Now, for the first time, a team led by physicists at the University of California, Irvine, have discovered neutrinos from a brand-new source – particle colliders. 

It’s the latest result from the Forward Search Experiment or FASER. FASER detects particles produced by CERN’s Large Hadron Collider.

The research may also provide a glimpse into the furthest reaches of the universe by shedding light on cosmic neutrinos that travel great distances and smash with the Earth.

FASER Co-Spokesperson Jamie Boyd, a particle physicist at CERN, said, “They can tell us about deep space in ways we can’t learn otherwise. These very high-energy neutrinos in the LHC are important for understanding really exciting observations in particle astrophysics.”

“FASER itself is new and unique among particle-detecting experiments. In contrast to other detectors at CERN, such as ATLAS, which stands several stories tall and weighs thousands of tons, FASER is about one ton and fits neatly inside a small side tunnel at CERN.”

UCI experimental physicist Dave Casper said“Neutrinos are the only known particles that the much larger experiments at the Large Hadron Collider are unable to directly detect, so FASER’s successful observation means the collider’s full physics potential is finally being exploited.”