Deep Underground Experiment Results Confirm Anomaly: Possible New Fundamental Physics

New results from the Baksan Experiment on Sterile Transitions (BEST) experiment confirm anomaly suggesting new physics possibility.

Sterile neutrino, physics fundamentals among interpretations of anomalous results.

New scientific results confirm an anomaly seen in previous experiments, which may point to an as-yet-unconfirmed new elementary particle, the sterile neutrino, or indicate the need for a new interpretation of an aspect of standard model physics, such as the neutrino cross section, first measured 60 years ago. Los Alamos National Laboratory is the lead American institution collaborating on the Baksan Experiment on Sterile Transitions (BEST) experiment, results of which were recently published in the journals Physical Review Letters and Physical Review C.

“The results are very exciting,” said Steve Elliott, lead analyst of one of the teams evaluating the data and a member of Los Alamos’ Physics division. “This definitely reaffirms the anomaly we’ve seen in previous experiments. But what this means is not obvious. There are now conflicting results about sterile neutrinos. If the results indicate fundamental nuclear or atomic physics are misunderstood, that would be very interesting, too.” Other members of the Los Alamos team include Ralph Massarczyk and Inwook Kim.

Located deep underground at the Baksan Neutrino Observatory in the Caucasus mountains in Russia, the completed two-zone gallium target, at left, contains an inner and outer tank of gallium, which is irradiated by an electron neutrino source. Credit: A.A. Shikhin

More than a mile underground in the Baksan Neutrino Observatory in Russia’s Caucasus Mountains, BEST used 26 irradiated disks of chromium 51, a synthetic radioisotope of chromium and the 3.4 megacurie source of electron neutrinos, to irradiate an inner and outer tank of gallium, a soft, silvery metal also used in previous experiments, though previously in a one-tank set-up. The reaction between the electron neutrinos from the chromium 51 and the gallium produces the isotope germanium 71.

The measured rate of germanium 71 production was 20-24% lower than expected based on theoretical modeling. That discrepancy is in line with the anomaly seen in previous experiments.

BEST builds on a solar neutrino experiment, the Soviet-American Gallium Experiment (SAGE), in which Los Alamos National Laboratory was a major contributor, starting in the late 1980s. That experiment also used gallium and high-intensity neutrino sources. The results of that experiment and others indicated a deficit of electron neutrinos — a discrepancy between the predicted and the actual results that came to be known as the “gallium anomaly.” An interpretation of the deficit could be evidence for oscillations between electron neutrino and sterile neutrino states.

A set of 26 irradiated disks of chromium 51 are the source of electron neutrinos that react with gallium and produce germanium 71 at rates that can be measured against predicted rates. Credit: A.A. Shikhin

The same anomaly recurred in the BEST experiment. The possible explanations again include oscillation into a sterile neutrino. The hypothetical particle may constitute an important part of dark matter, a prospective form of matter thought to make up the vast majority of the physical universe. That interpretation may need further testing, though, because the measurement for each tank was roughly the same, though lower than expected.

Other explanations for the anomaly include the possibility of a misunderstanding in the theoretical inputs to the experiment — that the physics itself requires reworking. Elliott points out that the cross-section of the electron neutrino has never been measured at these energies. For example, a theoretical input to measuring the cross section, which is difficult to confirm, is the electron density at the atomic nucleus.

The experiment’s methodology was thoroughly reviewed to ensure no errors were made in aspects of the research, such as radiation source placement or counting system operations. Future iterations of the experiment, if carried out, may include a different radiation source with higher energy, longer half-life, and sensitivity to shorter oscillation wavelengths.


“Results from the Baksan Experiment on Sterile Transitions (BEST)” by V. V. Barinov et al., 9 June 2022, Physical Review Letters.
DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.128.232501

“Search for electron-neutrino transitions to sterile states in the BEST experiment” by V. V. Barinov et al., 9 June 2022, Physical Review C.
DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevC.105.065502

Funding: Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Nuclear Physics.

DOELos Alamos National LaboratoryParticle PhysicsPopular
Comments ( 22 )
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  • Charles G. Shaver

    Neutrinos oscillating to become sterile neutrinos sounds a lot to me like small particles also appearing as waves in double slit experiments, both being mere misinterpretations of the true nature of pulsing locally induced directional lines of radiant gravity force. And, by being deep underground, it stands to reason denser gravity could similarly influence even smaller, lighter particles.

    • AG3

      Gravity is less deep underground.

      • Charles G. Shaver

        In my model of the universe the attraction of gravity lines of force is like the lines of magnetic force around a wire with an electric current flowing through it, inherently stronger when coiled and more so when the source object of that field of gravity is rotating. I try to demonstrate some of that in videos on my @charlesgshaver video channel on Odysee dot com.

        • AG3

          Your concept is different from gravity and therefore should be renamed. The word ‘gravity’ has a definite meaning that is now shared among many people

          • Charles G. Shaver

            Thanks for the conversation, AG3. However, I believe we are discussing the same attractive force that holds everything together in the universe, from atoms to galaxies, and, based upon decades of industrial electrician experience (e.g. rotating magnetic fields in A-C motors, minimally) and particular personal ‘insights,’ I’m just trying to explain it in more detail than outdated scientific dogma does, down to coherent circular lines of attraction surrounding pulsing coiled and spiraling lines of radiant gravity lines of force that form fields which diminish in density and strength with the square of the distance from the effective center of the field of propagation. The big question for me is what incites matter of all sizes and shapes to radiate such a reliably calculable force; reverberations of the ‘Big Bang,’ perhaps, or some central source?

    • TheHeck

      So much ignorance crammed in to two sentences. Impressive.

      • Charles G. Shaver

        What TheHeck? Please see if you can impress me by proving me wrong.

        • Sean Hare

          Except that you ARE wrong, and there’s not really any need to prove it as it is widely known. The force of gravity decreases below the Earth’s surface linearly with respect to the distance from the Earth’s centre until it reaches zero at the Earth’s centre. The portion of the Earth that lies above a deep Earth elevation has no net gravitational force on that deep Earth elevation. This is undergrad stuff.

          • Charles G. Shaver

            Thanks for joining the conversation, Sean. However, I don’t disagree that as one descends into the earth the gravity from above subtracts from the gravity below, I’m just saying the density and strength of non-homogenous pulsating coherent lines of gravity force increase as one descends to the point that neutrinos can be more directly affected, possibly causing a barely perceptible change of direction (e.g. ‘sterility?’).

          • Torbjörn Larsson

            @Charles G. Shaver: But your claim of gravity isn’t that,m since it contradicts what gravity is.

            My guess is that you aren’t interested in the actual physics here.

  • xABbAAA

    … but if one has a bunch of particles will they form a galaxy, but if you have a bunch of dust you end up with galaxies… yeah, different forces… but people, … common…

    • TheHeck

      Are you okay there? Sounds like you are having a stroke.

  • Matthew Middleton

    I find it funnily coincidencidental, but odd, that a game called, Destiny (made by Bungie) utilized sterile neutrinos several years ago to describe how a new type of enemy could function in combat. Nothing relevant to this article aside from the neutrinos, as it is a fantasy RPG game, but interesting none the less.

    • Sean Hare

      I wouldn’t be surprised if sterile neutrinos were named by someone who was also fond of Destiny.

  • Rod

    More proof of the Halflec Model of subatomic structure. The Standard Model is a farce!

    • Torbjörn Larsson

      Your nonsense claim is a farce.

  • KillVril

    Wow! You guys sound so smart. Well rock out with your cocks out, by all means. I was just wondering if this underground Los Alamos Laboratory was the same one that has alien greys performing horrific genetic experiments on kidnapped humans (including small children)? I figured since you all seem to be pretty knowledgeable about the universe and science and stuff, at least one of you must know about the very serious reptilian/grey alien threat to humanity…right?

  • rick

    note to understand the creation of the universe it would be helpful to read the instruction manual the bible it is 100% scientifically accurate
    it reveals the things that were created was created by things you cannot normally see it reveals there is two universes or multi dimensions with interdiamentional beings first you must understand the creation and makeup of man you are a spiritual being in cased in a body physical matter but you are part of of another total dimension spiritual or some consider 4th or 5th
    god says he holds all things together by the word of his power we have just found out what holds all things together it is light … god is light two fold statement there no sin in him also he is all power no man can look upon him and live … like looking at a trillion sun’s what was the first thing god created in the physical universe do you know it was light … he made the universe after himself the foundation of it … all communication devices including computers and radio waves are light waves light waves the full spectrum visible and invisible the invisible goes through all matter and holds it together latest scientic discovery made just a few years ago .. veifing the first ver in that book … to fully understand netrionos which is a description of the spiritual or 4th dimension which is separate from the physical but we are intertwined with it …. you brain is a multi interdimensional computer your spirit fills can controls it ..thus you have control of you body in this dimension re physical universe … ufos operate by the mind of these beings called alien grays no wiring involved even the creation of their craft to better understand there’s people that are researching who the spiritual interacts with the biological brain and the advanced concepts of it and are closer to understanding how things work or was created … the spiritual that operates in a different dimension but parallel to ours … in the physical universe there are 5 major forces only that is incorrect there are several more now proven to exist but classified by the military the military has been involved with et aliens and slash interdimensional beings called fallen angels at war with god in a different dimension but can affect mankind and even their feelings and their thoughts this work was done with out any over site dealing with these beings but they did not read the book the beings made it clear who they were and what was going on .. some of the beings said they were the nethuam recorded in the bible our military thought they were just aliens advanced ect.. not so advanced maybe to our standards these are your enemys and enemys of god … he warns us of them we are in a war … our whole world is … with these interdimenional beings that was created by god but rebelled .. they involved mankind in a war and mankind got cut off from god or separated from him it is why we live in a messed up world with good and evil .. these beings can invade a person and slowly try to take over with out you knowing it … but this is getting off subject of creation .. note these being wee created more intelligent then man and more powerful in the beginning and have a vast knowledge of creation … and how it works … we have just learned some of it … 5 major forces are not all the known forces … that exist … you must understand the rest to get a good understanding of real physics the 5 are only the basics I am sharing classified info .. by stating these things .. but for anything to advance you must know the rest .. but in a world warped by evil this information could be used for destrutive …

    • Torbjörn Larsson

      Cosmology has observed that there is no magic in the universe which is now entirely know to result from a natural (expansion) process.

      And of course one shouldn’t have to mention that the myth text you refer to have been deemed by historians to be roughly 100 % erroneous in the cases where you can test with observation. But I guess some don’t think that facts matter for their personal superstition, and feel the need to involve others instead of keeping it private.

  • rick

    old science said the earth was flat columb us read the book so did the early christians and discovered this country ..
    old science said the sun revolved around the earth …
    the book says the earth revolves around the sun …
    we now know it’s true …
    not only that the book says the sun is going in a circle in our galaxy we just found that out just the last 30 years or so … and we around the sun many years ago … by the hubble telescope …
    this information was given well over 6 thousand year ago give or take …
    only an advanced civilization could have known these things or god himself the creator we the one who give it said he was god …
    our science has just caught up with that book ..
    there are over 150 scientic facts in that book that modern science has just proven from personal hygiene to blood transfusions and how the weather works
    and that the earth was created self substaning so life could continue to exist … the ozone layer you would think it’s 13 feet thick to filter out gamma radiation it’s only a 1/8th of an inch thick that protects all live on this planet … these are just some of the things in the book

  • Atreides

    It seems like the comments section of these articles are frequented by people from all over the mental illness Venn diagram. Though rare, sometimes someone even has something to say that isn’t completely dumb, calling everyone else dumb, or just bats*** crazy. With that said, I can show myself out.

  • Torbjörn Larsson

    In sum, a stronger result, now at 4 sigma: “After the BEST measurements the gallium anomaly is more significant; the weighted average value of the neutrino capture rate relative to the expected value for all Ga experiments is 0.80 ± 0.05.”

    Only 1 sigma more to go, since the residual uncertainty at 5 sigma should be low enough for particle physicists. Getting closer to potentially explain dark matter!