by Elizabeth Gamillo/Smithsonianmag.com
To study the universe’s engimas, researchers plunged the world’s largest underwater telescope into the depths of Siberia’s Lake Baikal on March 13. The spherical telescope, called the Baikal-Gigaton Volume Detector, is designed to detect and observe the elusive neutrinos, the Agence France-Presse reported.
Neutrinos are the smallest, most abundant particles within the universe and could be the reason matter exists at all. The ghost particles are so plentiful that trillions of them pass through the human body every second. The particles are incredibly hard to capture because they travel almost at the speed of light. Although abundant, neutrinos are not absorbed by matter or deflected by magnetic fields. They only interact with gravity and “weak force,” which, in particle physics, is a term used to describe the interaction responsible for subatomic particle decay.
Although similar to electrons, neutrinos do not carry an electric charge and have almost no mass. Because neutrinos are neutral and hardly interact with anything, they are challenging to detect—but not impossible…….Read More: