Science and Technology Daily News, Washington, April 23: MIT physicists have recently developed a new desktop particle detector that can identify individual electrons in radioactive gases and is useful for studying neutrinos. The research results were published in the recently published Physical Review Letters.
The project team worked with researchers at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, the University of Washington, and the University of California, Santa Barbara, and recorded the activities of more than 100,000 single electrons in radon gas. When the gas attenuates and releases electrons, the detector uses a magnet to trap electrons into a magnetic bottle. The radio antenna receives weak signals from these electrons, and these signals can be used to map accurate electronic activity for more than a few milliseconds. The most characteristic feature of electrons is that when radioactive helium attenuates and emits electrons (discharges), it oscillates at a reference frequency before electrons gradually disappear. When an electron hits an atom of a radioactive gas, the frequency reaches a spike. . After an electron collides with multiple atoms in the detector, its energy jumps in a staircase shape.
Joe Fortemaggio, an associate professor of physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said, "We can imagine this electronic frequency and see this electronic rush into the radio antenna. As time goes on, the frequency changes and it makes a 'click'. This study took a gratifying step in overcoming the problem of measuring neutrino mass."
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