Rare neutrino scattering events shine light on the nature of matter

Dec 03, 2013
Neutrino scattering reveals matter structure
A close-up of the light sensors inside the MiniBooNE neutrino detector. Credit: Fermilab

Neutrinos are a great tool to learn more about the subatomic structure of matter and the nature of our universe. Results from the MiniBooNE experiment at DOE'sFermi National Accelerator Laboratory now help scientists better understand the nuclear structure of protons and neutrons, explore the nature of neutrino oscillations and search for dark matter.

Neutrinos interact with other building blocks of matter only via the , mediated by two types of particles: the charged W boson and the electrically neutral Z boson. Each type of boson weighs almost 100 times more than a proton, and the origin of their masses is closely connected to the existence of the famous Higgs boson.

Using a generated by Fermilab's particle accelerator complex, the MiniBooNE scientists have made the world's best measurement of the difficult-to-detect process in which a neutrino interacts via a Z boson with a proton or neutron inside an atomic nucleus.

The MiniBooNE collaboration has observed a world record of more than 150,000 of these rare Z boson scattering events. The only previous measurement with reasonable statistics of this interaction was made by Brookhaven Lab 's E734 experiment in 1987, which recorded a few thousand scattering events.

Explore further: Fermilab sends first neutrino beam to NOvA experiment

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Fermilab sends first neutrino beam to NOvA experiment

Sep 17, 2013

DOE's Fermilab has switched on its newly upgraded neutrino beam, soon to be the most intense in the world. The laboratory spent the past 15 months upgrading its accelerator complex in preparation for the ...

ATLAS sees Higgs boson decay to fermions

Nov 28, 2013

The ATLAS experiment at CERN has released preliminary results that show evidence that the Higgs boson decays to two tau particles. Taus belong to a group of subatomic particles called the fermions, which ...

Could 'Higgsogenesis' explain dark matter?

Oct 22, 2013

(Phys.org) —The recently discovered Higgs boson is best known for its important role in explaining particle mass. But now some physicists are wondering if the Higgs could have played an equally significant ...

Physics experiment suggests existence of new particle

Nov 02, 2010

(PhysOrg.com) -- The results of a high-profile Fermilab physics experiment involving a University of Michigan professor appear to confirm strange 20-year-old findings that poke holes in the standard model, suggesting the ...

Recommended for you

And so they beat on, flagella against the cantilever

16 hours ago

A team of researchers at Boston University and Stanford University School of Medicine has developed a new model to study the motion patterns of bacteria in real time and to determine how these motions relate ...

Tandem microwave destroys hazmat, disinfects

19 hours ago

Dangerous materials can be destroyed, bacteria spores can be disinfected, and information can be collected that reveals the country of origin of radiological isotopes - all of this due to a commercial microwave ...

Cornell theorists continue the search for supersymmetry

21 hours ago

(Phys.org) —It was a breakthrough with profound implications for the world as we know it: the Higgs boson, the elementary particle that gives all other particles their mass, discovered at the Large Hadron ...

How did evolution optimize circadian clocks?

Sep 12, 2014

(Phys.org) —From cyanobacteria to humans, many terrestrial species have acquired circadian rhythms that adapt to sunlight in order to increase survival rates. Studies have shown that the circadian clocks ...

User comments : 2

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

JIMBO
2.5 / 5 (2) Dec 03, 2013
What Bad science writing. A Hyped title, then Nothing is described except a huge data base of neutrino-Z scatterings. No arxiv or journal ref. for the curious reader to learn more. SOS at Physorg.
EyeNStein
1 / 5 (1) Dec 04, 2013
This article doesn't shine light on the nature of anything. Certainly not on the nature of good technical journalism.