Author Topic: Table top neutrino detector possible?  (Read 3592 times)

Offline Stormbringer

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Table top neutrino detector possible?
« on: 11/10/2016 02:43 AM »
http://phys.org/news/2016-11-solar-physicists-easier-peculiar-particles.html

if this is real then (eventually) why not a high resolution neutrino "camera?" one that would have applications for studying the interiors of planets and stars or used for nuclear treaty verification or targeting a nuke in flight even? i know the neutrino environment is the one with the most noise possible but there could be processing techniques that could filter out all the noise. what if the advancement of technology eventually yields a micro or nano scale detector?
« Last Edit: 11/10/2016 02:44 AM by Stormbringer »
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Online eeergo

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Re: Table top neutrino detector possible?
« Reply #1 on: 11/10/2016 04:42 AM »
So this paper is a follow up of this one: https://arxiv.org/pdf/1511.08770v1.pdf, claiming the magnetic field-driven Non-Standard Interaction resonant spin flavor transition is causing neutrino modulation in the Sun *and*, additionally, that they have detected an unknown phenomenon by which beta decays are influenced by these modulated neutrinos with a cross section 10^25 times larger than known nuclear weak interactions.

They are Stanford and Purdue, but these are two BOLD claims, that should require extraordinary evidence.

They claim, in the linked paper about the hypothesized unknown capture interaction, that 1pg of 32Si would have a 8B neutrino capture rate of 200 times SK. This means 1 g of 32Si would be seeing 10^10 counts / s. Hence, assuming a regular-silicon 2.32 g/cm^3 density, a 1 gram 32Si slab with a cross section of 1 cm^2 and a thickness of 0.42 cm would be stopping ALL solar neutrinos it encounters with room to spare.

Unless I'm missing something, this claim screams for careful systematic error check.
-DaviD-

Online Bynaus

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Re: Table top neutrino detector possible?
« Reply #2 on: 11/10/2016 06:10 AM »
Be aware that these claims of variable decay rates have been around for a long time. The Purdue group has found them most consistently, but many others have not, sometimes even at higher precisions. See for example this work by Kossert & Nähle. So this paper discusses an "application" of an effect before demonstrating its existance...

Offline rdheld

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Re: Table top neutrino detector possible?
« Reply #3 on: 11/10/2016 11:34 AM »
will want to see several experiments done before I believe it.

Offline momerathe

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Re: Table top neutrino detector possible?
« Reply #4 on: 11/10/2016 03:40 PM »
To make a camera you need a lens/pinhole/whatever - some way of detecting variations in intensity in different directions. That'd need a whole other discovery. You could use it to detect nuclear reactors by simple proximity, though. Maybe by satellite, even. If the effect is real.

But yeah, what the others said.
thermodynamics will get you in the end

Offline Stormbringer

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Re: Table top neutrino detector possible?
« Reply #5 on: 11/10/2016 04:14 PM »
To make a camera you need a lens/pinhole/whatever - some way of detecting variations in intensity in different directions. That'd need a whole other discovery. You could use it to detect nuclear reactors by simple proximity, though. Maybe by satellite, even. If the effect is real.

But yeah, what the others said.
yeah, i know. the thing is if the article is true assuming the secondary effects of neutrino reactions were real then wouldn't a pinhole be enabled since you don't have to screen the neutrino flux directionally directly? you'd only need to screen the products of the decay?

otherwise perhaps there is a way to make the size and spacing of the particles the neutrinos must directly collide with in order to be detected in the normal way in present state of the art detectors appear much larger than they are.

The problem is that neutrinos are tiny, an atom is mostly made of open space and the only way neutrinos interact with ordinary matter is by collision. Possible solutions are:

Make matter (or metamaterial) that has less open space in it (than the stuff in dry cleaning fluid) so collisions are more frequent

Detect secondary effects of neutrino behavior or interactions (this is what is alleged in the present article and subsequent cites provided by other forum members)

Create an extreme environment which somehow alters the behavior/properties of the space through which neutrinos travel or the properties of neutrinos themselves. can they be made to radiate energy? can they be made to ripple the local space they travel through? can these be reversed (look at the process backwards) since neutrinos aren't friendly

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You could use it to detect nuclear reactors by simple proximity, though. Maybe by satellite, even. If the effect is real.

if your resolution was good enough you might be able to detect the shape, mass and isotopic info on a neutrino source. perhaps in an ideal case you could detect species and oscillation  frequency or some sort of polarization in the signals which would enable development of algorithms to discriminate near and far sources, adjacent sources, densities and other properties from which you could derive a great deal of valuable information. perhaps (since we are going for something that is way out anyway) you could pick up info on  what the neutrinos have passed through and not just emitted from making it the ultimate magical x ray machine.

« Last Edit: 11/10/2016 04:40 PM by Stormbringer »
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Online eeergo

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Re: Table top neutrino detector possible?
« Reply #6 on: 11/10/2016 05:40 PM »
yeah, i know. the thing is if the article is true assuming the secondary effects of neutrino reactions were real then wouldn't a pinhole be enabled since you don't have to screen the neutrino flux directionally directly? you'd only need to screen the products of the decay?

Even if their claim was true (which I doubt for the back-of-the-envelope reason I gave in my previous post), you'd need very isotopically-pure samples to be measured with extremely precise spectrometers to detect their rate of decay. These detectors, while much simpler and smaller than current-generation neutrino observatories, are not trivial and need to be extremely well-calibrated and isolated to detect a 10^(-5) oscillation in the measured decay (what the paper claims).

By the way, an "easy" way to check for this effect of neutrino-induced decay rate modulation would be to place a sample close to a nuclear reactor, or another high-intensity (>10^10 /cm2) neutrino source. The change in rate should be apparent.

In any case, this is a counting method: it's integral and you lose all directionality. No "camera-like" behavior can be expected, since you cannot shield one side vs another. You could have *temporal* resolution with this effect, meaning you can see rate changes and infer a neutrino source came nearby, but not tell where it's coming from: it would be a sort of Geiger counter, but the only screening it would see would be due to distance.

Of course, if the claimed interaction modulating the decay makes the neutrino disappear (through absorption or other change in nature) then you would just need a few cm of these isotopes to screen your device from neutrinos - which is why it's so doubtful this claim is right.

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The problem is that neutrinos are tiny, an atom is mostly made of open space and the only way neutrinos interact with ordinary matter is by collision.

It's not useful to think of subatomic interactions imagining little balls of different sizes touching each other, more than just to give a metaphorical sense of how this works. The "size" depends on the particle interaction you are dealing with: that's what cross-sections measure. An atom will be much "smaller" in weak interaction "light" than for a photon, and a gamma photon will "see" something much different from a UV or a UHF photon.

In any case, as a nitpick: neutrinos do interact in other ways, such as elastic scattering (see liquid scintillator detectors), which does not imply a collision in the sense of changing the nature of the reactants.

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Possible solutions are:
Make matter (or metamaterial) that has less open space in it (than the stuff in dry cleaning fluid) so collisions are more frequent

Non-exotic states of matter can only change so much their density. You are much more limited by the fundamental weak interaction cross section (~10^{-43})

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Detect secondary effects of neutrino behavior or interactions (this is what is alleged in the present article and subsequent cites provided by other forum members)

Unless a new neutrino interaction like the one they claim is discovered, you're still limited by the aforementioned cross-section, only now you're relying on the efficiency of two processes instead of one (the primary neutrino interaction process + the way you measure the secondary effect) thus multiplying their inefficiencies.

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if your resolution was good enough you might be able to detect the shape, mass and isotopic info on a neutrino source. perhaps in an ideal case you could detect species and oscillation  frequency or some sort of polarization in the signals which would enable development of algorithms to discriminate near and far sources, adjacent sources, densities and other properties from which you could derive a great deal of valuable information. perhaps (since we are going for something that is way out anyway) you could pick up info on  what the neutrinos have passed through and not just emitted from making it the ultimate magical x ray machine.

All this is already done with current detectors, albeit with huge inefficiencies, which makes it difficult to disentangle this information due to the very low amount of interacting neutrinos in the first place (low statistics) and the weird things you have to do to register their whisper (transform the interaction into something you can observe, and filter out the SO many other backgrounds washing out your signal)
-DaviD-

Offline as58

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Re: Table top neutrino detector possible?
« Reply #7 on: 11/10/2016 11:01 PM »
As far as I know, one of the authors (Sturrock) has for a long time been seeing time variability in Solar neutrino flux that pretty much no-one else but he and his co-authors believe. This 32Si decay rate theory just adds another very implausible layer to that.

Also, before you get too impressed by the institutional affiliations: at least Sturrock is long retired from Stanford, I believe he's in his 90s already.
« Last Edit: 11/10/2016 11:01 PM by as58 »

Online eeergo

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Re: Table top neutrino detector possible?
« Reply #8 on: 11/10/2016 11:48 PM »
This sounds, I should add, suspiciously similar to the DAMA/LIBRA dark matter modulation claim nobody can replicate, but nobody can convincingly dispute either: likely an unaccounted-for systematic uncertainty (or combinations thereof) that hides well-buried under the intricacies in the design of this particular experiment.
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Offline momerathe

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Re: Table top neutrino detector possible?
« Reply #9 on: 11/11/2016 01:11 PM »
To make a camera you need a lens/pinhole/whatever - some way of detecting variations in intensity in different directions. That'd need a whole other discovery. You could use it to detect nuclear reactors by simple proximity, though. Maybe by satellite, even. If the effect is real.

But yeah, what the others said.
yeah, i know. the thing is if the article is true assuming the secondary effects of neutrino reactions were real then wouldn't a pinhole be enabled since you don't have to screen the neutrino flux directionally directly? you'd only need to screen the products of the decay?

I don't think there's any evidence to indicate that the direction of the products from the radioactive decay are correlated with the direction the neutrinos came from. (modern Cherenkov detectors are sensitive to direction but the resolution is obviously bad.)

thermodynamics will get you in the end

Offline momerathe

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Re: Table top neutrino detector possible?
« Reply #10 on: 11/11/2016 01:17 PM »
This sounds, I should add, suspiciously similar to the DAMA/LIBRA dark matter modulation claim nobody can replicate, but nobody can convincingly dispute either: likely an unaccounted-for systematic uncertainty (or combinations thereof) that hides well-buried under the intricacies in the design of this particular experiment.

I think DAMA's result has been ruled out by the LUX results that were released over the summer.
thermodynamics will get you in the end

Online eeergo

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Re: Table top neutrino detector possible?
« Reply #11 on: 11/11/2016 05:22 PM »
This sounds, I should add, suspiciously similar to the DAMA/LIBRA dark matter modulation claim nobody can replicate, but nobody can convincingly dispute either: likely an unaccounted-for systematic uncertainty (or combinations thereof) that hides well-buried under the intricacies in the design of this particular experiment.

I think DAMA's result has been ruled out by the LUX results that were released over the summer.

They have been disproven, but the flaw hasn't been understood yet, so there's still the slim chance they saw something the other experiment is insensitive to, or just overlooked. Most probably, it's just an unaccounted systematic error.
-DaviD-

Offline Stormbringer

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Re: Table top neutrino detector possible?
« Reply #12 on: 11/11/2016 05:38 PM »
To make a camera you need a lens/pinhole/whatever - some way of detecting variations in intensity in different directions. That'd need a whole other discovery. You could use it to detect nuclear reactors by simple proximity, though. Maybe by satellite, even. If the effect is real.

But yeah, what the others said.
yeah, i know. the thing is if the article is true assuming the secondary effects of neutrino reactions were real then wouldn't a pinhole be enabled since you don't have to screen the neutrino flux directionally directly? you'd only need to screen the products of the decay?

I don't think there's any evidence to indicate that the direction of the products from the radioactive decay are correlated with the direction the neutrinos came from. (modern Cherenkov detectors are sensitive to direction but the resolution is obviously bad.)
well if these papers are legit (and that seems to be a big if) then you should be able to build a "box" with one open end that blocks enough neutrinos to be able to distinguish the ones coming in from the open end of the box. (I think.)
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Online eeergo

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Re: Table top neutrino detector possible?
« Reply #13 on: 11/11/2016 06:05 PM »
To make a camera you need a lens/pinhole/whatever - some way of detecting variations in intensity in different directions. That'd need a whole other discovery. You could use it to detect nuclear reactors by simple proximity, though. Maybe by satellite, even. If the effect is real.

But yeah, what the others said.
yeah, i know. the thing is if the article is true assuming the secondary effects of neutrino reactions were real then wouldn't a pinhole be enabled since you don't have to screen the neutrino flux directionally directly? you'd only need to screen the products of the decay?

I don't think there's any evidence to indicate that the direction of the products from the radioactive decay are correlated with the direction the neutrinos came from. (modern Cherenkov detectors are sensitive to direction but the resolution is obviously bad.)
well if these papers are legit (and that seems to be a big if) then you should be able to build a "box" with one open end that blocks enough neutrinos to be able to distinguish the ones coming in from the open end of the box. (I think.)

Certainly, but there are too many concatenated "if"s in this claim making it smell foul (solar NSIs + unknown interaction >20 orders of magnitude stronger than weak interaction only affecting neutrinos + find isotopes that are plentiful enough and short-lived enough to enable the creation of any sort of meaningful directional detector).
-DaviD-

Offline Eric Hedman

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Re: Table top neutrino detector possible?
« Reply #14 on: 11/11/2016 06:27 PM »
I'm curious.  If a table top detector is possible, will there be any point to the large detectors like Ice Cube at Amundsen Station?

https://icecube.wisc.edu/icecube/static/science/images/icecube_detector_sm.png

Online eeergo

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Re: Table top neutrino detector possible?
« Reply #15 on: 11/11/2016 06:43 PM »
I'm curious.  If a table top detector is possible, will there be any point to the large detectors like Ice Cube at Amundsen Station?

https://icecube.wisc.edu/icecube/static/science/images/icecube_detector_sm.png

If such fantastic pre-requisites are valid and it turns out there are super-neutrino-absorbing materials, it may still be that it only happens with a certain type of neutrinos (possibly electron, given they would be interacting with beta-decaying isotopes) and not with others, such as it happens with the matter-oscillation effect (MSW).

There are many and very varied large neutrino detector types, which do not necessarily observe the same channels. IceCube detects muon neutrinos, so even if the miracle happened and the 32Si effect was indeed due to a new much larger interaction for neutrinos, it may not be applicable for them. Of course, this is another level of "if-concatenation" ;)
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Offline Eric Hedman

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Re: Table top neutrino detector possible?
« Reply #16 on: 11/11/2016 07:42 PM »
I'm curious.  If a table top detector is possible, will there be any point to the large detectors like Ice Cube at Amundsen Station?

https://icecube.wisc.edu/icecube/static/science/images/icecube_detector_sm.png

If such fantastic pre-requisites are valid and it turns out there are super-neutrino-absorbing materials, it may still be that it only happens with a certain type of neutrinos (possibly electron, given they would be interacting with beta-decaying isotopes) and not with others, such as it happens with the matter-oscillation effect (MSW).

There are many and very varied large neutrino detector types, which do not necessarily observe the same channels. IceCube detects muon neutrinos, so even if the miracle happened and the 32Si effect was indeed due to a new much larger interaction for neutrinos, it may not be applicable for them. Of course, this is another level of "if-concatenation" ;)
Thanks for the answer.  "If" is quite an amazing word.  It leads to interesting speculation sometimes not grounded in reality.

Offline Stormbringer

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Re: Table top neutrino detector possible?
« Reply #17 on: 11/11/2016 09:16 PM »
if is the genesis of countless ideas that don't pan out but it also the genesis of nearly every discovery that did. :)

Anyway so is there a way of forcing an energy state that a neutrino cannot occupy and therefore cannot enter? something like how the the casimir effect limits particles (such as photons and electrons) in narrowly spaced plates or spheres?

are are there super-positioned states where a neutrino passing through might disturb the wave function and collapse it?

or is there a condensed matter state (superfluid of elementary particles or even quarks or gluons etc) where the spaces between bits is so low it increases the frequency of interactions we normally detect neutrinos from?

is a neutrino made of still more fundamental bits and therefore can potentially be induced to decay into something more easy to see?
« Last Edit: 11/11/2016 09:34 PM by Stormbringer »
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Offline Eric Hedman

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Re: Table top neutrino detector possible?
« Reply #18 on: 11/11/2016 11:01 PM »
if is the genesis of countless ideas that don't pan out but it also the genesis of nearly every discovery that did. :)

Anyway so is there a way of forcing an energy state that a neutrino cannot occupy and therefore cannot enter? something like how the the casimir effect limits particles (such as photons and electrons) in narrowly spaced plates or spheres?

are are there super-positioned states where a neutrino passing through might disturb the wave function and collapse it?

or is there a condensed matter state (superfluid of elementary particles or even quarks or gluons etc) where the spaces between bits is so low it increases the frequency of interactions we normally detect neutrinos from?

is a neutrino made of still more fundamental bits and therefore can potentially be induced to decay into something more easy to see?
It is encouraging that so many questions still exist about the fundamental nature of the universe.  It means that the coming years will continue to have a stream of discoveries and inventions.  It is an interesting time to be alive.

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Re: Table top neutrino detector possible?
« Reply #19 on: 11/12/2016 12:59 AM »
if is the genesis of countless ideas that don't pan out but it also the genesis of nearly every discovery that did. :)

I agree, speculation is healthy for the mind and progress if understood as such :) There's a large difference between highly-speculative ideas based on many implausible conditions, and new discoveries though!

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Anyway so is there a way of forcing an energy state that a neutrino cannot occupy and therefore cannot enter? something like how the the casimir effect limits particles (such as photons and electrons) in narrowly spaced plates or spheres?

are are there super-positioned states where a neutrino passing through might disturb the wave function and collapse it?

There may well be effect such as the ones you describe that haven't been probed yet.


Neutrinos are quantum fields like any other fundamental particle, and are subject to the same rules - just only bound by weak interactions, which makes everything much more transparent than we're used to thinking of (again, unless revolutionary, unlikely strong interactions such as the one claimed in the paper have been overlooked until now) - and therefore makes probing for these effects incredibly more difficult than with photons or electrons.


Consequently, confining neutrinos is practically impossible.

Collapsing wavefunctions due to neutrinos interacting is a real thing, and neutrinos propagating can oscillate in many different ways depending on the matter they encounter. To profit from that though, unless new interactions or collective effects are found, you always rely on the weak force and the small cross-sections it entails.

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or is there a condensed matter state (superfluid of elementary particles or even quarks or gluons etc) where the spaces between bits is so low it increases the frequency of interactions we normally detect neutrinos from?

The denser, the better for detection: you have more targets for neutrinos to interact with through weak interaction.


However, at least for now, the limiting factor in neutrino detection materials is not density (you would build your detector of solid uranium), but how much visible stuff the material gives you that would allow you to extract the signal. There might be merit in having a superdense condensate that also gives you an awesome output signal you can process, but I don't think it is known if such a thing is possible at present.

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is a neutrino made of still more fundamental bits and therefore can potentially be induced to decay into something more easy to see?

As far as we know, it is an indivisible, fundamental field with no internal structure.

Nevertheless, it needs not be composite to decay (see muons, taus, vector bosons...): neutrino decay is a possibility under active research. Some theories suggest it could decay to more interacting particles which would be easier to see (photons) and some to less interacting, more difficult to see particles (still-unknown sterile neutrinos that do not interact with any electroweak SM force, or other unknown particles). Only limits have been set on its lifetime for now though.
« Last Edit: 11/12/2016 01:02 AM by eeergo »
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