Neutrino-2020: search results for neutrinos from CNO cycle

News, 26 June 2020

First confirmation of carbon-nitrogen cycle reactions in the Sun

This week, the Neutrino-2020 Conference is held, the most authoritative event among scientists engaged in neutrino physics. The Conference takes place every two years. This year, it is held online. The main results of physicists obtained in previous years are usually presented at the Conference. So, the target audience is huge. The number of participants of the last conferences reached 1,000 people.

On Tuesday, 23 June 2020, the Borexino collaboration presented the results of search for neutrinos from carbon-nitrogen (or CNO) cycle. The results were obtained with the participation of physicists from the Dzhelepov Laboratory of Nuclear Problems of JINR. The results provide direct evidence for the CNO cycle in the Sun which is of crucial importance for astrophysics as far as this theoretically predicted process has not been experimentally confirmed yet.

The CNO cycle is a source of about 1 percent of the entire solar energy and is secondary to the Sun. However, the cycle is responsible for half of all the energy produced by stars with a mass of one and a half of that of the Sun. Until now, the carbon-nitrogen cycle existed only in theory. Measurement of the CNO-neutrino flux is supposed to shed light on the mystery of the chemical composition of the Sun as it is directly related to the abundance of elements in the Sun. Recently, various sets of measurement lead to different results.

Now, theoretical calculations have been experimentally confirmed. The article on the measurement will be soon published in arXive and will be also sent for review to an authoritative journal.

World scientific journalism has already reacted to the announcement of this outstanding result: Nature and Science News journals have already published editorial notes.


Read also about the results of the Borexino experiment on our website: