China is on the hunt for the world's most elusive particles

Deep below the surface of the ocean, a new neutrino detector will appear. Chinese engineers will equip it with thousands

sensors. They will track tiny flashes of light in the darkness of the depths that signal the presence of neutrinos.

Every second, tens of trillions of neutrinosrush through the Earth and our bodies without interacting with anything. Sometimes these neutrally charged particles collide with the wandering nucleus of an atom, releasing an almost imperceptible spark of light.

It helps scientists not only learn aboutthe presence of neutrinos, but also to determine where it came from. Physicists are especially interested in those that came from outside the solar system. These high-energy particles are born in black holes, supernovae, pulsars. It is these high-energy neutrinos that scientists from the Chinese Academy of Sciences are trying to find.

The new detector will consist of 55,000 sensors,suspended 1 km below the surface of the ocean, lead project researcher Chen Mingjun told Xinhua News Agency. The sun's rays can't travel that deep, which would help sensors detect high-energy neutrinos and distinguish them from the sun's.

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Cover image courtesy of NASA, ESA and M. Kornmesser