Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Upside-down underwater telescope to study visitors from space

18.03.2003


Scientists from the Universities of Sheffield and Leeds will soon be able to study some of the most elusive particles known to man, thanks to a giant telescope under the sea that looks down towards the centre of the Earth rather than up into the sky.



Together with fellow scientists from across Europe they are building a telescope 2400m (one and a half miles) under the Mediterranean Sea to detect neutrinos. These tiny elementary particles hardly exist at all, having no charge and almost no mass. Neutrinos zoom through the earth at almost the speed of light, travelling here from some of the most extreme regions of the cosmos. Understanding them will give us a new view of the Universe and may allow scientists to confirm the existence of dark matter. Dark matter is believed to make up some of the 90 per cent of the missing mass of the Universe that has never been detected.

The project, costing 20 million Euros, is the result of collaboration between 150 physicists and astronomers from sixteen European organisations.


The telescope will consist of ten 480m long strings fixed to the seabed, each with a weight at one end and a buoy at the other. Each string will have around 30 light detection photo-multipliers distributed along the entire length. The strings are connected, via a junction box on the seabed, to a 40km fibre optic cable, which relays information back to a base station on the south coast of France. Today the Nautille submarine has connected the first string to the cable using a robotic arm.

Dr Lee Thompson of the Physics and Astronomy Department at University of Sheffield is the UK project leader for Antares. He explains how the telescope works, "The photo-multipliers detect the light given off on the rare occasions when neutrinos interact with material (such as rock in the seabed or even seawater) and become muons. Muons are particles that are similar to electrons but heavier. When travelling through the water the muons give off a blue light, which the telescope will detect and record.

"Neutrinos have no charge so they always travel in a straight line. By following the path of the muons we will be able to determine where the neutrinos came from and discover the source of their creation.

"The reason that we need to build the telescope under the sea is that the water prevents muons from cosmic rays in the atmosphere from contaminating our study. By looking down the Earth also acts as a filter, as muons that haven?t been created from a neutrino will be absorbed before they can get into the study area."

Jon Pyle | alfa
Further information:
http://www.shef.ac.uk/uni/academic/N-Q/phys/research/pa/antares/faq.html

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Devils Hole: Ancient Traces of Climate History
24.05.2017 | Universität Innsbruck

nachricht Supercomputing helps researchers understand Earth's interior
23.05.2017 | University of Illinois College of Liberal Arts & Sciences

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

Im Focus: Using graphene to create quantum bits

In the race to produce a quantum computer, a number of projects are seeking a way to create quantum bits -- or qubits -- that are stable, meaning they are not much affected by changes in their environment. This normally needs highly nonlinear non-dissipative elements capable of functioning at very low temperatures.

In pursuit of this goal, researchers at EPFL's Laboratory of Photonics and Quantum Measurements LPQM (STI/SB), have investigated a nonlinear graphene-based...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Physicists discover mechanism behind granular capillary effect

24.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Measured for the first time: Direction of light waves changed by quantum effect

24.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>