Scientists have made a cosmic breakthrough by connecting a single high-energy ‘neutrino’ or neutral subatomic particle to a distant galaxy as it interacted with an atom in South Pole, a report based on two studies by scientists published in Science on Thursday says.
Scientists working at the IceCube Neutrino Observatory in South Pole buried strings of over 5,000 powerful spherical sensors one mile deep in ice to record the energy level and direction of the flash of light emitted by the charged particle created when the single neutrino interacted with the atom. IceCube scientists were able to measure the energy level of the neutrino and where it came from.
The discovery could open a new chapter in astronomy for scientists to learn more about galaxies, black holes and the origins of matter.
Neutrinos were released four billions years ago when a powerful jet of radiation came blasting out of a black hole in the centre of a gigantic oval galaxy called blazar. These subatomic particles were so tiny and difficult to detect that scientists called them ‘ghost particles.’
Studying the mysteries of the universe using neutrinos may unravel more truths across time and space as unlike ordinary light, they travel in a straight line for billions of light-years, passing unhindered through galaxies, stars and anything else in their path to the sensors buried deep in polar ice, scientists say.