This week, the Neutrino-2020 conference is underway, the most authoritative event among the scientists involved in neutrino physics. The conference is held every two years, this year online. Traditionally, the main results of the studies conducted by physicists during the previous years are introduced at the conference, which explains the vast target audience. The last conferences were attended by about one thousand participants.

On Tuesday, 23 June 2020, the Borexino collaboration presented the results of the search for neutrinos from the carbon-nitrogen (CNO) cycle obtained with the participation of the physicists from DLNP, JINR. The findings unambiguously indicate the CNO cycle in the Sun, which is of great significance for astrophysics since this theoretically predicted process was not yet verified experimentally.

CNO foto copyThe CNO cycle produces just about 1% of all solar energy and is the second most important process in the Sun. However, in stars one and a half times heavier than the Sun, this cycle is already responsible for half of all the energy released by a star. So far, the CNO cycle has been considered possible only in theory. The CNO neutrino flux measurement will surely shed light on the riddle of the chemical composition of the Sun—nowadays different measurements lead to different results. The solar neutrino flux from this reaction directly correlates with the element abundance in the Sun.

Now, theoretical calculations have been confirmed experimentally. The article about the measurement will be soon published in arXive and at the same time submitted for review to an authoritative journal.

The world science journalistic community has already reacted to the announcement of this outstanding result—the  Nature and Science News published their editorials.  

Written by Elena Dubovik