Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

IceCube neutrino observatory nears complete

01.09.2010
In December 2010, IceCube -- the world's first kilometer-scale neutrino observatory, which is located beneath the Antarctic ice -- will finally be completed after two decades of planning.

In an article in the AIP's Review of Scientific Instruments, Francis Halzen, the principal investigator of the IceCube project, and his colleague Spencer Klein of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory provide a comprehensive description of the observatory, its instrumentation, and its scientific mission—including its most publicized goal: finding the sources of cosmic rays.

"Almost a century after their discovery, we do not know from where the most energetic particles to hit the Earth originate and how they acquire their incredible energies," says Halzen, a professor of physics at the University of Wisconsin in Madison.

After light, neutrinos, which are created in the decay of radioactive particles, are the most abundant particles in the universe. High-energy neutrinos are formed in the universe's most violent events, like exploding stars and gamma ray bursts. Because the neutrino has no charge, essentially no mass, and only interacts weakly with matter, trillions of neutrinos pass through our bodies each day, without effect. On extremely rare occasions, a neutrino will strike the nucleus of an atom, creating a particle, called a muon, and blue light that can be detected with optical sensors. The trick is spying those collisions—and, in particular, the collisions of high-energy neutrinos. IceCube does it by sheer virtue of its size.

At 1 kilometer on a side -- with 5,160 optical sensors occupying a gigaton of ice -- the observatory is orders of magnitude bigger than other neutrino detectors; the Superkamiokande detector in the Japanese Alps, for example, is only 40 meters on a side.

"IceCube has been totally optimized for size in order to be sensitive to the very small neutrino fluxes that may reveal the sources of cosmic rays and the particle nature of dark matter," Halzen says.

The article, "IceCube: An instrument for neutrino astronomy" by Francis Halzen and Spencer R. Klein appears in the journal Review of Scientific Instruments. See: http://rsi.aip.org/resource/1/rsinak/v81/i8/p081101_s1

Journalists may request a free PDF of this article by contacting jbardi@aip.org

This work is supported by the National Science Foundation.

NOTE: Images are available for journalists. Please contact jbardi@aip.org

First Image Caption: Signals from the sensors are carried by cables to the IceCube counting house that houses a large cluster of computers to reconstruct in real time some 2,000 muon tracks every second. (Photo by J. Haugen, This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation. The news media is free to use the image.)

Second Image Caption: IceCube scientists deploy a calibration light source, called the Standard Candle in one of the 2.5 km deep holes. Each of the 86 holes contains a string of 60 Digital Optical Modules (DOMs) that detect the blue light from neutrino events in the deep, clear ice. (Photo by J. Haugen, This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation. The news media is free to use the image.)

REVIEW OF SCIENTIFIC INSTRUMENTS

Review of Scientific Instruments, published by the American Institute of Physics, is devoted to scientific instruments, apparatus, and techniques. Its contents include original and review articles on instruments in physics, chemistry, and the life sciences; and sections on new instruments and new materials. One volume is published annually. Conference proceedings are occasionally published and supplied in addition to the Journal's scheduled monthly issues. RSI publishes information on instruments, apparatus, techniques of experimental measurement, and related mathematical analysis. Since the use of instruments is not confined to the physical sciences, the journal welcomes contributions from any of the physical and biological sciences and from related cross-disciplinary areas of science and technology. See: http://rsi.aip.org/

ABOUT AIP

The American Institute of Physics is a federation of 10 physical science societies representing more than 135,000 scientists, engineers, and educators and is one of the world's largest publishers of scientific information in the physical sciences. Offering partnership solutions for scientific societies and for similar organizations in science and engineering, AIP is a leader in the field of electronic publishing of scholarly journals. AIP publishes 12 journals (some of which are the most highly cited in their respective fields), two magazines, including its flagship publication Physics Today; and the AIP Conference Proceedings series. Its online publishing platform Scitation hosts nearly two million articles from more than 185 scholarly journals and other publications of 28 learned society publishers.

Jason Socrates Bardi | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.aip.org

Further reports about: AIP IceCube Science TV blue light cosmic ray exploding star optical sensors

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL
23.06.2017 | Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne

nachricht Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?
23.06.2017 | National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quantum thermometer or optical refrigerator?

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A 100-year-old physics problem has been solved at EPFL

23.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Equipping form with function

23.06.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>