Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Netting new physics from a stellar collapse

24.08.2009
Failed supernovae could provide a strong flux of neutrinos near the detection limit of current observatories

Stars more than eight times the mass of our Sun eventually collapse under their own weight, and may explode into spectacular supernovae. The temperatures and pressures generated in these events are so intense they create a large burst of particles called neutrinos, which eventually reach Earth.

Now, Cecilia Lunardini at Arizona State University and RIKEN BNL Research Center in Upton, USA, has calculated that lots of neutrinos may also reach Earth from ‘failed supernovae’—huge stars that collapse without exploding to produce black holes1.

The neutrino contribution from these failed supernovae could greatly increase the total flux of neutrinos reaching Earth from millions of collapsing stars throughout the universe. Lunardini calls this total the ‘diffuse supernova neutrino flux’.

“In the diffuse flux, the contribution of each supernova is very small, but the total is detectable,” she says. “We only need to reach the right experimental sensitivity to start detecting it.”

Unfortunately, neutrinos are notoriously difficult to detect because they barely interact with other matter. One of the world’s best detectors is the Super-Kamiokande (‘Super-K’) neutrino observatory, situated in a mine beneath Gifu prefecture Japan, and even it requires 50,000 tons of ultra-pure water to scatter the neutrinos.

Lunardini decided to calculate whether a device like Super-K could detect neutrinos from supernovae collapsing into black holes.

“The idea that neutrinos are emitted in black-hole-forming collapses is not new,” she says. “The novelty of my work is in showing that these neutrinos can build up to a significant diffuse flux, thus adding to the flux from successful supernovae.”

In fact, Lunardini calculated that the Earth may receive up to one neutrino per square centimeter per second from failed supernovae. This is even more than the flux from successful supernovae, but probably beyond the detection limit of Super-K.

There is growing support in the scientific community to build larger, more sensitive neutrino detectors containing up to a million tons of water. Once these bigger detectors are built, Lunardini thinks it is only a matter of time before the diffuse neutrino flux can be measured. The results could reveal some fascinating new physics.

“[Failed supernovae] are very difficult to study with telescopes due to the fact that they do not explode but just disappear from the sky without much emission other than neutrinos,” says Lunardini. “The possibility to get information on these objects—even just to test their presence and how many there are in the universe—with neutrinos is exciting.”

Reference

1. Lunardini, C. Diffuse neutrino flux from failed supernovae. Physical Review Letters 102, 231101 (2009).

The corresponding author for this highlight is based at the RIKEN BNL Research Center Theory Group

Saeko Okada | Research asia research news
Further information:
http://www.rikenresearch.riken.jp/research/765/
http://www.researchsea.com

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Further Improvement of Qubit Lifetime for Quantum Computers
09.12.2016 | Forschungszentrum Jülich

nachricht Electron highway inside crystal
09.12.2016 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Electron highway inside crystal

Physicists of the University of Würzburg have made an astonishing discovery in a specific type of topological insulators. The effect is due to the structure of the materials used. The researchers have now published their work in the journal Science.

Topological insulators are currently the hot topic in physics according to the newspaper Neue Zürcher Zeitung. Only a few weeks ago, their importance was...

Im Focus: Significantly more productivity in USP lasers

In recent years, lasers with ultrashort pulses (USP) down to the femtosecond range have become established on an industrial scale. They could advance some applications with the much-lauded “cold ablation” – if that meant they would then achieve more throughput. A new generation of process engineering that will address this issue in particular will be discussed at the “4th UKP Workshop – Ultrafast Laser Technology” in April 2017.

Even back in the 1990s, scientists were comparing materials processing with nanosecond, picosecond and femtosesecond pulses. The result was surprising:...

Im Focus: Shape matters when light meets atom

Mapping the interaction of a single atom with a single photon may inform design of quantum devices

Have you ever wondered how you see the world? Vision is about photons of light, which are packets of energy, interacting with the atoms or molecules in what...

Im Focus: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

Researchers identify potentially druggable mutant p53 proteins that promote cancer growth

09.12.2016 | Life Sciences

Scientists produce a new roadmap for guiding development & conservation in the Amazon

09.12.2016 | Ecology, The Environment and Conservation

Satellites, airport visibility readings shed light on troops' exposure to air pollution

09.12.2016 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>