Observation of coherent elastic neutrino-nucleus scattering

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Science  15 Sep 2017:
Vol. 357, Issue 6356, pp. 1123-1126
DOI: 10.1126/science.aao0990

Nailing down an elusive process

Detecting neutrinos—elementary particles that barely interact with other matter—usually requires detectors of enormous size. A particular interaction of neutrinos with atomic nuclei, called the coherent elastic neutrino-nucleus scattering (CEνNS), is predicted to occur with relatively high probability, and it could be used to drastically reduce the size of neutrino detectors. However, observing this interaction requires a source of low-energy neutrinos and detectors that contain nuclei of optimal mass. Akimov et al. observed CEνNS with a 6.7σ confidence by using a comparatively tiny, 14.6-kg sodium-doped CsI scintillator exposed to neutrinos from a spallation neutron facility (see the Perspective by Link). The discovery places tighter bounds on exotic, beyond-the-standard-model interactions involving neutrinos.

Science, this issue p. 1123; see also p. 1098

  • # The collaboration consists of all listed authors. There are no additional collaborators.

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