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Your pint of beer is constantly traversed by myriads of invisible ghostly particles. They are coming from the upper atmosphere, the Sun's core, outer space, or straight from the Big Bang. They easily pass through your body or walls, and scientists build sophisticated instruments to catch at least a handful of them. Drink carefully!
Neutrinos, messengers from far, far away
Neutrinos are pillars of the modern particle theory, crucial to understanding how the Sun or a nuclear power plant works. They may even be the reason why there is something rather than nothing. Elusive and secretive, neutrinos can easily pass through the entire Earth unstopped, which makes them quite difficult to catch. But this same feature makes them messengers from extreme places we can never reach otherwise, like the center of the Sun, or the Universe right after the Big Bang. Although they were first discovered 60 years ago, they still hold many mysteries which we hope to unravel.
Dark is the new black
Marco Cirelli (research director, CNRS)
Dark Matter constitutes 85% of the total amount of matter in the Universe: we know it exists, we can guess some of its properties, but we have no idea of what it actually is. This is one of the most pressing issues in cosmology and particle physics today. Indeed, every day a small army of scientists goes to work looking for clues to the solution of the problem. The search is not easy: they build ultra-clean experiments in the deepest mines on Earth, they install giant detectors on the International Space Station, they scrutinize the products of the most energetic particle collider ever built…