CERN’s Search for Neutrinos
Nearly massless, and incredibly hard to detect, neutrinos are enigmatic particles that continue to fascinate researchers. We caught up with Dr Jamie Boyd from CERN, the spokesperson for, and one of the lead researchers on the FASER experiment, which looks at neutrinos that are produced in the LHC – the Large Hadron Collider.
FASER, which stands for Forward Search Experiment, is much smaller than the main LHC program, with only around 80 or so scientists working on it at a time.
Jamie explains that FASER started out looking for theoretical particles. “Phaser was originally designed to search for what we call light weakly interacting new particles that we postulate could exist, but are not part of the standard model of particle physics.”
It was while looking for these other particles, that the team realised they could study neutrinos as they were created in the particle collider.
“We realised it would be interesting to study them in their own right, not as a background. And that’s quite nice because if you build an experiment that’s just searching for something that probably doesn’t exist, then you look for it, you don’t see it, and then you’re done.”