In a significant turn of events NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration), researchers discovered high energy particles erupting from ice in the Antarctic region. Researchers are of the view that these particles are proof of the possibility of the parallel world theory.
What is ANITA?
ANITA (Antarctic impulsive transient antenna) is a radio telescope designed by NASA to detect ultra high-frequency cosmic-ray neutrinos from a scientific balloon flying over Antarctica. ANITA is that the first NASA observatory for neutrinos of any kind.
The neutrinos have energies on the order of 1018 eV and are capable of producing radio pulses in the ice due to the Askaryan effect. Experts believed that high-energy cosmic neutrinos result from the interaction of ultra-high-energy cosmic rays(1020 eV) with the photons of the cosmic microwave background radiation. This is the main reason why it was hoped that ANITA can help in explaining the origin of these cosmic rays
ANITA-I, launched from McMurdo, Antarctica in 2006 and ANITA-II, a modified version of ANITA-I with 40 antennas, was launched from McMurdo Station in 2008. The researchers then launched ANITA-III, which was equipped with systems to improve sensitivity by a factor of 5–10, in December 2014. ANITA-IV was launched in December 2016 with tunable notch filters and an improved trigger system.
As per reports, ANITA has made four flights of Antarctica continent and succeeded to detect numerous cosmic rays coming from the sky within the field of view of this experiment. These radio waves are created by cosmic ray air showers and are reflected off the ice before they reach ANITA.
Why Study Neutrinos?
Neutrinos interest astrophysicists a lot as they are the only particle that can reach earth unattenuated (not reduced, weakened, or lessened in amount) at all energies. This is particularly of interest at high energies where other particles and photon interacts with the photons of the microwave background disallowing them to propagate and survive over long astrophysical distances. It is said – if you want to see the ultra-high energy universe, you should view it through the “light” of neutrinos
What is the Askaryan Effect?
The Askaryan effect is that the phenomenon where a particle traveling faster than the phase velocity of sunshine during a dense dielectric medium (such as salt, ice) produces a shower of secondary charged particles which contain a charge anisotropy and therefore emits a cone of coherent radiation inform of radio or microwave. Generally speaking, it is based on the Cherenkov effect.
High energy processes such as Compton, Bhabha, and Moller scattering in correspondence to positron annihilation rapidly lead to about a 20%-30% negative charge asymmetry in the electron-photon part of a cascade. Since the dimensions of the clump of charged particles are small in comparison to the wavelength of the radio waves, the shower radiates coherent radio Cherenkov radiation whose power is proportional to the square of the net charge in the shower. The net charge in the shower is directly proportional to the primary energy so the radiated power scales quadratically with the shower energy,
A leading researcher stated that the phenomenon is “in strong contradiction with the standard model of physics” and it was recorded by NASA’s Antarctic Impulsive Transient Antenna (ANITA).
Earlier, findings were discarded terming them as glitches!
ANITA was successful in detecting the ‘fountain’ of high-energy particles in 2006 and 2014 as well but the researchers initially rejected the findings as background noise or glitches. Lead researcher and University of Hawai Physics Professor Peter Gorham reported that in 2016 the researchers conducted a closer inspection of the data and found phenomenon resembling an “upside-down cosmic-ray shower”.