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A Step Closer to Detecting Ancient Neutrinos

• Physics 15, s85

Using radioactive tritium, scientists enhance laboratory constraints on the overdensity sign of cosmic relic neutrinos by an element of 100, an advance that ought to enhance the probabilities of recognizing this elusive particle.


One second after the massive bang, so-called cosmic relic neutrino particles scattered out throughout the Universe. Today, these particles are thought to cluster close to galaxies, similar to our personal Milky Way. When this clustering goes above a sure worth, referred to as the overdensity, researchers predict that the particles ought to produce a sign detectable on Earth. Though researchers are assured that this sign will get produced, they’ve but to seize it in experiments. In a step towards that objective, Thierry Lasserre from the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission and colleagues have now up to date the constraints on the cosmic relic neutrino overdensity, a outcome they are saying ought to enhance the probabilities of observing the presence of cosmic relic neutrinos [1].

To replace the constraint, Lasserre and colleagues analyzed measurements carried out on the Karlsruhe Tritium Neutrino Experiment (KATRIN), Germany. KATRIN consists of a windowless chamber that homes 200𝜇g of gaseous, radioactive tritium and varied spectrometers. Relic neutrinos are predicted to work together with tritium, inducing a well-defined electron sign on the fringe of the tritium beta-decay spectrum; KATRIN accommodates essentially the most concentrated supply of analysis tritium on the earth.

Beginning in 2019, KATRIN began measuring with excessive precision the beta-decay spectrum of tritium, and Lasserre and colleagues have now searched that spectrum for an indication of relic neutrino-tritium interactions. While the workforce have to date discovered no such sign, they’ve been in a position to enhance the precision of constraints on the relic neutrino overdensity by an element of 100. Where earlier experiments set the higher sure of this overdensity at ten trillion, Lasserre and colleagues cut back that to 100 billion.

While Lasserre acknowledges that physicists are nonetheless many years away from observing a direct relic neutrino sign, he says that this work represents an necessary step ahead within the seek for the holy grail of neutrino physics.

–Allison Gasparini

Allison Gasparini is a contract science author based mostly in Santa Cruz, CA.


  1. M. Aker et al. (KATRIN Collaboration), “New constraint on the local relic neutrino background overdensity with the first KATRIN data runs,” Phys. Rev. Lett. 129, 011806 (2022).

Subject Areas

CosmologyParticles and Fields

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