Scientists from the Institute for Corpuscular Physics in Valencia Spain have succeeding in mapping out the inside of the Earth by tracking a fundamental cosmic particle called the neutrino. Otherwise known as a ghost particle – neutrinos are capable of traversing our entire planet and sometimes make contact with atomic nuclei, therefor releasing bursts of energy in the form of secondary particles that can be tracked by sensory equipment
Neutrinos are a ELEMENTARY particle forged inside the nuclear gauntlet of a star. Of course our own sun is a star, and billions of other stars exist all around us in 360 degrees, so these cosmic particles are always smashing in to the Earth at various angles of entry
“The use of atmospheric neutrinos allows us to have neutrinos coming from all directions, with a wide range of energy and a known flux with enough precision,” explained IFIC physicist Sergio Palomares-Ruiz.
To study how far these particles made it inside the Earth, Physicists poured over a years worth of data from the Antarctic IceCube telescope. According to them, Neutrino penetration depends on factors like energy, absorption and the total amount of mass traversed by the particle. Furthermore, all of that needs to be considered in relationship to the angle of entry. Depending on their star of origin, neutrinos may travel straight through the core of the Earth or enter at more oblique angle, therefor skipping the core entirely.
“The amount of absorption of atmospheric neutrino flux depends on the amount of material traversed as well as the energy of the neutrinos, so by studying the variation of the amount of absorption in different directions for neutrinos of different energy, we can determine the distribution of density of the Earth.”
Scientists usually use seismic waves to figure out the internal structure of the Earth, unfortunately they do not reach the core.
“The neutrinos, on the other hand, go through it all, offering valuable information about the unknown nucleus of the Earth, where the magnetism of the planet is generated,” said IFIC physicist Andrea Donini
According to researchers, nothing new worth noting was discovered, but they contest that the importance lies in the potential for neutrino scanners to more accurately image large underground areas
“The Planet’s Mass and Its Moment of Inertia Were All Calculated Using Neutrino Data – and They Were All Consistent with Previous Measurements Taken by Other Means, and Less Detailed.”
“Our results demonstrate the feasibility of this approach to study the Earth’s internal structure, which is complementary to traditional geophysical methods,” the researchers wrote in their paper.
A similar scanning method was used for revealing a concealed “void” on top of the Queens Chamber inside of the Pyramid of Giza.
in this particular case they tracked temporary outbursts of muons a secondary particle in the same class of electrons albeit with a mass 200 times greater.