Russian scientists launched Baikal-GVD (Gigaton Volume Detector) one of the world’s biggest underwater neutrino telescopes.
About the Baikal-GVD
- The Baikal-GVD is one of the three largest neutrino detectors in the world.
- The other two are the Ice Cube at the South Pole and ANTARES in the Mediterranean Sea.
- The GVD is designed to detect high-energy neutrinos which may have come from the Earth’s core, or have been produced during nuclear reactions in the Sun.
- The objective of the mission is to study the fundamental particles neutrinos and to determine their sources.
- The construction of the telescope started in 2016.
- The study will help understand the origins of the universe.
What are neutrinos?
- Neutrinos are the second most abundant subatomic particles in nature, after photons.
- Neutrinos do not interact with each other as they do not carry any charge.
- Like the other particles such as electrons, protons, and neutrons, they do not break further and are known as fundamental.
Why scientists try to find neutrinos in deep seawater?
- These particles might have unique properties that would help to explain why the universe is made of matter instead of antimatter.
- One method of detecting neutrinos is in water or in the ice where neutrinos leave a flash of light or a line of bubbles when they interact with each other.
- Scientists have to build large detectors to detect these signs.
- Lake Baikal is a rift lake that is located in southern Siberia, Russia.
- Lake Baikal is the largest freshwater lake by volume in the world that contains 22 to 23% of the world's fresh surface water.
- Lake Baikal was declared a World Heritage Site in 1996 by UNESCO.