Neutrinos are some sort of ghost particles, which can easily pass through matter without being seen or felt. Therefore, scientists assumed they are the only ones which can travel through space and pass right through our planet. However, a recent study revealed these particles don’t pass through, but are absorbed or blocked by the planet.
Neutrinos were believed to pass through matter
A team of researchers from the IceCube Observatory at the South Pole decided to study neutrinos and decode their mystery. They are the most numerous particles present in the universe but, given the faint way in which they interact with matter, are extremely hard to spot. The particles can express themselves in three states with the help of a fourth one, which can easily pass as dark matter.
Those neutrinos which pass through our bodies are in a low energy state. However, the study revealed that those particles blocked by the planet are the opposite, in a high energy state. The discovery occurred with the help of IceCube, a device made of a series of sensors trapped in ice over a wider surface.
Earth trapped the particles within its core
Researchers assumed that those neutrinos which issued high energy must have been interacting with all the other particles. However, scientists never managed to observe the process until the IceCube observation started. With the help of these sensors, they managed to spot the interaction, known as neutrino cross section.
The observations took place between May 2010 and May 2011, and analyzed over 11,000 interactions between neutrinos and other particles. Scientists were surprised to find out that a lot fewer particles penetrated the Earth’s crust and ended up in the core. Once they got there, they didn’t pass through.
It was interesting to find out that the neutrinos could be absorbed by the planet. Although the particles seemed powerful and unstoppable, Earth was capable of trapping them and blocking them from going through. The study has been published in the journal Nature.
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