Subatomic particles could be precisely tracked with DNA-based detector (edited)

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A proposed particle detector contains strands of hanging DNA that are severed when high-energy particles pass through – and it could allow us to track particle paths with nanoscale precision



Physics



18 April 2022

DNA molecules

DNA’s famous double helix could be used to detect particles

LAGUNA DESIGN/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

A detector consisting of a forest of DNA strands could track how subatomic particles move more precisely than existing devices.

Current state-of-the-art particle detectors can sense the mass of particles with incredibly high precision, but tracking the paths of particles through a detector isn’t always easy.

Ciaran O’Hare at the University of Sydney, Australia, and his colleagues think a DNA-based version could help. The idea, first proposed by a different group in 2012, promises to allow researchers to track …

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