In a milestone breakthrough, scientists have detected a high-energy particle that sped through the earth. Experts revealed that this particle came from outer space to earth at the speed of light. The particle that reached the earth in December 2016 finally smashed into an electron buried inside an ice sheet at the South Pole. The collision resulted in the formation of a particle that then decayed into a host of secondary particles.
Scientists consider it a major breakthrough
The particles were detected by the IceCube Neutrino Observatory that is buried under the surface of Antarctica. Scientists revealed that the collision event detected by the IceCube Neutrino Observatory is known as the Glashow resonance event.
Even though scientists have previously predicted the possibility of such an event, scientists have never observed the event directly. Experts believe that the new observation could help to unveil more mysteries surrounding the vast ocean of particle physics.
This is for the first time that scientists are detecting an individual neutrino that has an astrophysical origin. Scientists named this event Glashow resonance event after Sheldon Glashow who predicted the possibility of such an event in the 1960s.
The process of resonance
In the 1960s, Glashow predicted that an antineutrino could interact with an electron to create a new particle through a process called resonance if the conditions are favorable. This unseen particle named W boson was discovered in 1983.
Researchers suggested that space could have acted as a natural accelerator behind the trigger of this event. In space, there are extremely violent events that could generate the requisite energy themselves.
"When Glashow was a postdoc at Niels Bohr, he could never have imagined that his unconventional proposal for producing the W- boson would be realized by an antineutrino from a faraway galaxy crashing into Antarctic ice," said Francis Halzen, professor of physics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the principal investigator of IceCube.