This article is based on an article from the Japanese edition of Engadget and was created using the translation tool Deepl.
The Italian National Institute of Nuclear Physics (INFN) has published a paper in Nature stating that a nuclear fusion reaction called the CNO (carbon-nitrogen-oxygen) cycle, in which hydrogen is converted to helium in a star, is also taking place at the center of the sun, and has detected neutrinos believed to have been emitted from the reaction.
This type of reaction was predicted in 1938 and neutrinos were also observed in 1958, but had never been verified. The scientists used the Borexino detector at the INFN Gran Sasso Particle Physics Laboratory, located in the foothills of the Apennines, about 65 miles northeast of Rome, to detect the CNO cycle. This result paves the way to direct measurements of the amount of solar metal using neutrinos emitted in CNO cycles.
Almost all stars release large amounts of energy by converting hydrogen into helium. However, in the case of sun-sized stars, 99% of their energy is released in a proton-proton (pp) chain reaction, producing helium via beryllium, lithium, and boron. The detection is the first direct evidence for the CNO cycle and demonstrates that, as predicted, the CNO cycle contributes about 1 percent of the sun's energy source, the scientists said.
The scientists believe that measurements of neutrinos produced by CNO fusion can be used to estimate the carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen content of a star. Generally, the larger and more massive stars are hotter, and the CNO cycle, in which nuclei react in a loop between carbon, nitrogen, and oxygen to fuse hydrogen into helium, is a major energy source in giant stars. If most stars visible in the universe are much larger than our sun, then the CNO cycle is the primary energy source for the entire universe.
And the detection of neutrinos from the CNO cycle may also help solve the mystery of dark matter that is believed to fill the universe, according to NBC. Although not involved in these findings, nuclear physicist Gabriel Orebi Gann told NBC that an asymmetry between neutrinos and their relevant antiparticles might explain why there isn’t much-known antimatter in the universe.
Via: NBC News
This article is based on an article from the Japanese edition of Engadget and was created using the translation tool Deepl. The Japanese edition of Engadget does not guarantee the accuracy or reliability of this article.