New atlas reports that Japan’s super Kamiokande Neutrino Observatory has just undergone a relatively simple upgrade. The huge underground facility added a rare earth element called gadolinium to the water, making it more sensitive to neutrinos from distant ancient supernovae. As a very light basic particle, neutrinos rarely interact with conventional matter, so they can pass through most objects unimpeded. In the human body, for example, billions of neutrinos pass through your body every second. < / P > < p > but occasionally, neutrinos also hit electrons in atoms. With proper observation, scientists have the opportunity to study these collisions. This is one of the main reasons why stations such as Super-K are best suited to be buried under rock or ice to avoid other radiation. < p > < p > it is reported that Super-K, located 1 km (0.6 miles) below mount Ikeno in Japan, has been waiting to detect neutrinos since 1996. < / P > < p > the facility features a huge 40 meter (130 foot) water tank with about 50 million liters (13 million gallons) of ultra pure water, lined with 13000 photomultiplier tubes. < / P > < p > when neutrinos enter the water tank and hit water molecules, they produce tiny flashes of light. The amplification of photomultiplier tube is helpful for optical sensor to pick up relevant information. < / P > < p > it is worth mentioning that these neutrinos also have different scintillation “fingerprints” depending on their origins, including the sun, supernova explosions, artificial experiments, nuclear reactors, or proton decay. < / P > < p > unfortunately, although supernovae are particularly fascinating, these events do not occur very often. If we extend the search to other galaxies (not just our own), we can increase the number of neutrinos that can be picked up. The difficulty of this matter is that the farther the distance, the weaker the signal is, and even difficult to distinguish it from the background noise. The good news is that the addition of GD rare earth elements to this Super-K upgrade helps to significantly amplify neutrino signals from distant supernovae. < / P > < p > in July, the research team had added about 13 tons of GD compounds to the detection solution, reaching a concentration of about 0.01%. < / P > < p > by interacting with some neutrinos to produce neutrons, Gd can interact with these particles to produce gamma ray flash, which makes it easier for optical sensors to detect them. More importantly, this will not have a negative impact on the monitoring of other neutrino events. Masakauki Nakahata, project leader, said: “at 0.01% concentration, Super-K is about 50% efficient in detecting neutrino collision neutrons.”. In the next few years, they also plan to further increase efficiency in order to observe neutrino signals from distant ancient supernovae. < / P > < p > the team added that the upgrade will help Super-K detect neutrinos produced by supernovae 10 billion years ago, giving us a better understanding of particle physics and the distant history of the universe. More Samsung devices can now run Android applications on PC through your phone