Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

The First T2K Neutrino Event Observed at Super-Kamiokande

26.02.2010
Physicists from the Japanese-led multinational T2K collaboration announced today that they had made the first detection of a neutrino which had travelled all the way under Japan from their neutrino beamline at the J-PARC facility in Tokai village (about an hour north of Tokyo by train) to the gigantic Super-Kamiokande underground detector near the west coast of Japan, 295 km (185 miles) away from Tokai. Stony Brook University has been the leading US institution in the T2K experiment.

"It is a big step forward," said T2K spokesperson Takashi Kobayashi. "We've been working hard for more than 10 years to make this happen."

They have constructed their new neutrino beamline, which will deliver the world’s most powerful neutrino beams, to study the mysterious phenomenon known as neutrino oscillations, and the observation of this event proves that their study can now begin.

"Neutrinos are the elusive ghosts of particle physics," Kobayashi explains. "They come in three types, called electron neutrinos, muon neutrinos, and tau neutrinos, which used to be thought to be immutable."

Interacting only weakly with matter, neutrinos can traverse the entire earth with vastly less attenuation than light passing through a window. The very weakness of their interactions allows physicists to make what should be very accurate predictions of their behavior, and thus it came as a shock when measurements of the flux of neutrinos coming from the thermonuclear reactions which power our sun were far lower than predicted."

A second anomaly was then demonstrated by Super-Kamiokande, when it showed that the flux of different types of neutrino generated within our atmosphere by cosmic ray interactions was different depending on whether the neutrinos were coming from above or below (which should not have been possible given our understanding of particle physics). Other experiments, such as KamLAND (also performed at Kamioka), have conclusively demonstrated that these anomalies are caused by neutrino oscillations, whereby one type of neutrino turns into another.

"Congratulations from CERN on the first T2K neutrino event seen at Super-Kamiokande," said CERN Director General Rolf Heuer. "Switching on the world's first neutrino superbeam is a great achievement, and is set to bring great advances in the understanding of this most elusive of particles. Even in a time of financial difficulty around the globe, it's important not to lose sight of the fact that basic science is and always will be a crucial element of progress. It is therefore heartening to see such an important new basic science initiative getting underway now."

"Watching this event is as mesmerizing as watching an Olympic athlete skating the perfect program on the way to a Gold Medal; it is stunningly beautiful to my eyes," said Professor Chang Kee Jung of Stony Brook University, leader of the US T2K project. "Of course this is the result of many years of hard work by more than 500 international collaborators."

The T2K experiment has been built to make measurements of unprecedented precision of known neutrino oscillations, and to look for a so-far unobserved type of oscillation which would cause a small fraction of the muon neutrinos produced at J-PARC to become electron neutrinos by the time they reach Super-Kamiokande.

"This first neutrino event marks a great achievement for T2K and a milestone for the fast-growing field of neutrino physics worldwide," said Fermilab Director Pier Oddone. "We send warmest congratulations from Fermilab, along with our best wishes for the exciting science that will follow."

Prof. Dr. Joachim Mnich, Director in charge of High Energy Physics and Astroparticle Physics at DESY also notes: "Warmest congratulations from DESY on seeing the first neutrino event and thus becoming leader in the race to understand the elusive neutrino! Through our long history of collaboration with Japanese scientists and labs we value your work most highly and hope that the T2K project will help make the neutrino less elusive."

Observing the new type of oscillation would open the prospect of comparing the oscillations of neutrinos and anti-neutrinos, which many theorists believe may be related to one of the great mysteries in fundamental physics -- why is there more matter than anti-matter in the universe? The observation of this first neutrino (see figure) means that the hunt has just begun!

Background: The T2K collaboration consists of 508 physicists from 62 institutes in 12 countries (Japan, South Korea, Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Poland, and Russia). The experiment consists of a new neutrino beamline using the recently constructed 30 GeV synchrotron at the J-PARC laboratory in Tokai, Japan, a set of near detectors constructed 280m from the neutrino production target, and the Super-Kamiokande detector in western Japan.

The U.S. participation in the T2K experiment is supported by the U.S.
Department of energy. It consists of 80 physicists from 11 institutions
(Boston University, Brookhaven National Laboratory, University of California, Irvine, University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado State University,
Duke University, Louisiana State University, University of Pittsburgh,
University of Rochester, Stony Brook University, and University of Washington).
The complete list of institutions can be found at: http://neutrino.kek.jp/t2k/T2KInstitutions.pdf
The T2K experiment would like to thank the following funding agencies for their generous support:
Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology (MEXT), Japan
The Department of Energy, the United States
The Natural Science and Engineering Research Council, Canada
The National Research Council, Canada
The Science and Technology Facilities Council, the United Kingdom
Institut National de Physique Nucléaire et de Physique de Particules (IN2P3), France
Commissariat à l’Énergie Atomique (CEA), France
Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare (INFN), Italy
Ministerio de Ciencia e Innovacion , Spain
Ministry of Science and Higher Education, Poland
Russian Ministry of Science and Technology, Russia
Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, Germany
Ministry of Education, Science & Technology (MEST), South Korea
USA: Prof. Chang Kee Jung, Stony Brook University, alpinist@nngroup.physics.sunysb.edu,
Phone: +1 (631) 632-8108, (631) 474-4563 (h), (631) 707-2018 (c)
Japan: Youhei Morita
Head of Public Relations Office, KEK
Tel: +81-29-879-6047

Prof. Chang Kee Jung | Newswise Science News
Further information:
http://www.stonybrook.edu

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Gamma rays will reach beyond the limits of light
23.10.2017 | Chalmers University of Technology

nachricht Creation of coherent states in molecules by incoherent electrons
23.10.2017 | Tata Institute of Fundamental Research

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: Salmonella as a tumour medication

HZI researchers developed a bacterial strain that can be used in cancer therapy

Salmonellae are dangerous pathogens that enter the body via contaminated food and can cause severe infections. But these bacteria are also known to target...

Im Focus: Neutron star merger directly observed for the first time

University of Maryland researchers contribute to historic detection of gravitational waves and light created by event

On August 17, 2017, at 12:41:04 UTC, scientists made the first direct observation of a merger between two neutron stars--the dense, collapsed cores that remain...

Im Focus: Breaking: the first light from two neutron stars merging

Seven new papers describe the first-ever detection of light from a gravitational wave source. The event, caused by two neutron stars colliding and merging together, was dubbed GW170817 because it sent ripples through space-time that reached Earth on 2017 August 17. Around the world, hundreds of excited astronomers mobilized quickly and were able to observe the event using numerous telescopes, providing a wealth of new data.

Previous detections of gravitational waves have all involved the merger of two black holes, a feat that won the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physics earlier this month....

Im Focus: Smart sensors for efficient processes

Material defects in end products can quickly result in failures in many areas of industry, and have a massive impact on the safe use of their products. This is why, in the field of quality assurance, intelligent, nondestructive sensor systems play a key role. They allow testing components and parts in a rapid and cost-efficient manner without destroying the actual product or changing its surface. Experts from the Fraunhofer IZFP in Saarbrücken will be presenting two exhibits at the Blechexpo in Stuttgart from 7–10 November 2017 that allow fast, reliable, and automated characterization of materials and detection of defects (Hall 5, Booth 5306).

When quality testing uses time-consuming destructive test methods, it can result in enormous costs due to damaging or destroying the products. And given that...

Im Focus: Cold molecules on collision course

Using a new cooling technique MPQ scientists succeed at observing collisions in a dense beam of cold and slow dipolar molecules.

How do chemical reactions proceed at extremely low temperatures? The answer requires the investigation of molecular samples that are cold, dense, and slow at...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

3rd Symposium on Driving Simulation

23.10.2017 | Event News

ASEAN Member States discuss the future role of renewable energy

17.10.2017 | Event News

World Health Summit 2017: International experts set the course for the future of Global Health

10.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Microfluidics probe 'cholesterol' of the oil industry

23.10.2017 | Life Sciences

Gamma rays will reach beyond the limits of light

23.10.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

The end of pneumonia? New vaccine offers hope

23.10.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>