Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Sudbury Neutrino Observatory reports new measurements – thanks to Table Salt!

10.09.2003


A common table commodity that people sprinkle on their food every day is the main ingredient in new measurements by scientists at the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO).

In a presentation on Sunday September 7th, at TAUP2003, a major scientific conference in Seattle, Washington, new measurements were reported that strongly confirm the original SNO results announced in 2001 and 2002 that solved the "Solar Neutrino Problem" and go much further in establishing the properties of neutrinos that cause them to change from one type to another in transit to the Earth from the Sun.

"We have moved to a precision phase of the measurements." says Queen’s University Professor Art McDonald, SNO Project Director through the first two phases of the project. "These measurements are essential to define a new theory of elementary particles required to explain finite neutrino masses and their ability to change types. Some of the simplest proposed theories have already been ruled out."



To accomplish the new measurements, the SNO Collaboration added 2 tonnes of high-purity table salt (NaCl) to the 1000 tonnes of heavy water at the heart of the detector, sited 2 kilometres underground in near Sudbury, Canada. Two-thirds of the electron-type neutrinos produced by nuclear reactions in the core of the Sun are observed to change to muon- or tau-type neutrinos before reaching the Earth. "These new solid results are obtained with a ‘pinch of salt’, providing three times better sensitivity to the muon and tau neutrinos." Says Professor Tony Noble, Director of the SNO Institute that administers the project on behalf of an international collaboration of 130 scientists from 15 institutions in Canada, the U.S. and the U.K. The observations in recent years that neutrinos change from one type to another, implying that they have mass, has led to great interest in the scientific community.

These new findings require a modification of the most basic theories for elementary particles and have provided a strong confirmation that our theories of energy generation in the Sun are very accurate. New experiments to provide further information on neutrino properties and the origin of the Dark Matter in the Universe are being developed. These include projects that could be sited in the new SNOLAB being developed near the SNO underground site. Such measurements could provide insight into fundamental questions such as why our Universe is composed of matter rather than anti-matter. The answers to such questions require a further understanding of elementary particle theory and further insight into the evolution of the Universe.

To pursue such questions, the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory is about to enter a third experimental phase with new sensitivity. Professor Hamish Robertson of the University of Washington, Seattle, US Co-spokesman and Interim SNO Director for this transition phase, says "We have developed a half-kilometre-long array of ultra-clean detectors to be placed in the heavy water after the salt is removed in September. These detectors are precision instruments that will give us further insight into neutrino properties."

Professor Nick Jelley of Oxford University, co-spokesman of the UK SNO Collaboration states, "As we have moved forward with ever increasing sensitivity, we are learning more about neutrinos and their place in the Universe. It is very exciting to be performing these ground-breaking measurements with our unique experimental sensitivity."

Julia Maddock | alfa

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Matter falling into a black hole at 30 percent of the speed of light
24.09.2018 | Royal Astronomical Society

nachricht Scientists solve the golden puzzle of calaverite
24.09.2018 | Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology

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: Scientists present new observations to understand the phase transition in quantum chromodynamics

The building blocks of matter in our universe were formed in the first 10 microseconds of its existence, according to the currently accepted scientific picture. After the Big Bang about 13.7 billion years ago, matter consisted mainly of quarks and gluons, two types of elementary particles whose interactions are governed by quantum chromodynamics (QCD), the theory of strong interaction. In the early universe, these particles moved (nearly) freely in a quark-gluon plasma.

This is a joint press release of University Muenster and Heidelberg as well as the GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung in Darmstadt.

Then, in a phase transition, they combined and formed hadrons, among them the building blocks of atomic nuclei, protons and neutrons. In the current issue of...

Im Focus: Patented nanostructure for solar cells: Rough optics, smooth surface

Thin-film solar cells made of crystalline silicon are inexpensive and achieve efficiencies of a good 14 percent. However, they could do even better if their shiny surfaces reflected less light. A team led by Prof. Christiane Becker from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) has now patented a sophisticated new solution to this problem.

"It is not enough simply to bring more light into the cell," says Christiane Becker. Such surface structures can even ultimately reduce the efficiency by...

Im Focus: New soft coral species discovered in Panama

A study in the journal Bulletin of Marine Science describes a new, blood-red species of octocoral found in Panama. The species in the genus Thesea was discovered in the threatened low-light reef environment on Hannibal Bank, 60 kilometers off mainland Pacific Panama, by researchers at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama (STRI) and the Centro de Investigación en Ciencias del Mar y Limnología (CIMAR) at the University of Costa Rica.

Scientists established the new species, Thesea dalioi, by comparing its physical traits, such as branch thickness and the bright red colony color, with the...

Im Focus: New devices based on rust could reduce excess heat in computers

Physicists explore long-distance information transmission in antiferromagnetic iron oxide

Scientists have succeeded in observing the first long-distance transfer of information in a magnetic group of materials known as antiferromagnets.

Im Focus: Finding Nemo's genes

An international team of researchers has mapped Nemo's genome

An international team of researchers has mapped Nemo's genome, providing the research community with an invaluable resource to decode the response of fish to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

"Boston calling": TU Berlin and the Weizenbaum Institute organize a conference in USA

21.09.2018 | Event News

One of the world’s most prominent strategic forums for global health held in Berlin in October 2018

03.09.2018 | Event News

4th Intelligent Materials - European Symposium on Intelligent Materials

27.08.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Matter falling into a black hole at 30 percent of the speed of light

24.09.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

NASA balloon mission captures electric blue clouds

24.09.2018 | Earth Sciences

New way to target advanced breast cancers

24.09.2018 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>