Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Racing particles from space

25.11.2013
South Pole observatory IceCube delivers first indications of neutrinos from cosmic accelerators

For the first time scientists have uncovered concrete evidence for highly energetic neutrinos stemming from outside our solar system.



The IceCube experiment, a huge neutrino detector in Antarctica in which the Technische Universitaet Muenchen (TUM) is involved has observed 28 neutrinos that most likely stem from cosmic objects such as supernovae, black holes, pulsars or other extreme cosmic phenomena.

A wide variety of particles perpetually pound onto the Earth’s atmosphere. Most of these particles, like protons, electrons or helium nuclei have a certain mass and carry an electrical charge. When they collide with other particles or are deflected by the cosmic magnetic fields, the sun or the Earth, they alter their path and energy. Not so, the uncharged and extremely light neutrinos:

They speed right through all mater, more or less undisturbed. Every second billions of neutrinos pass through each square centimeter of the Earth’s surface. The vast majority of these elementary particles are created in decay and transformation processes within the sun or in the Earth’s atmosphere. Neutrinos that stem from outside our solar system, from the outer reaches of our galaxy or even further away, are much rarer.

These astrophysical neutrinos are highly interesting for physicists. They offer clues to the powerful cosmic objects they stem from: supernovas, black holes, pulsars, active galactic cores and other extreme extragalactic phenomena. Now the scientists of the IceCube experiment, which includes researchers from the Cluster of Excellence Universe at the TUM, report they have observed, for the first time, high-energy neutrinos.

The 28 events were recorded between May 2010 and May 2012. Each of these neutrinos had an energy of over 50 tera-electron volts (TeV). That is a thousand fold more energy than any neutrino from a terrestrial accelerator has ever reached. “These are the first indications of neutrinos from outside our solar system,” says TUM physicist Professor Elisa Resconi, who is a member of the IceCube collaboration.

“These events can be explained neither by causes like atmospheric neutrinos, nor by other highenergy events like muons created in the Earth’s atmosphere during interactions with cosmic rays.”

After observing hundreds of thousands of atmospheric neutrinos, the researchers are finally convinced they have proven the existence of neutrinos that fulfill their expectations of astrophysical neutrinos that in all likelihood stem from cosmic accelerators. “Now we must determine where these neutrinos come from and how they are created. We are at the frontier of a new astronomy with neutrinos,” says Elisa Resconi.

The IceCube observatory is melted into the permafrost of the South Pole, an installation that was completed in 2010 following seven years of construction. At one cubic kilometer in size, it is the largest neutrino detector worldwide. 86 vertical wire ropes with a total of 5160 optical sensors were sunk 1450 to 2450 meters into the ice. IceCube detects neutrinos via tiny flashes of blue light, so called-Cherenkov radiation, which appears when neutrinos interact with ice, generating a shower of charged particles.

The observatory is run by an international consortium under the direction of the University of Wisconsin, Madison (USA). The research team comprises some 250 scientists and engineers from USA, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, Japan and other countries.

Publication:
Evidence for High-Energy Extraterrestrial Neutrinos at the IceCube Detector, IceCube Collaboration, Science, 22. Nov. 2013 – DOI:
Contact:
Prof. Dr. Elisa Resconi
Technische Universitaet Muenchen
Experimental Physics of Cosmic Particles
Cluster of Excellence Origin and Structure of the Universe
Boltzmannstr. 2, 85748 Garching, Germany
Tel.: +49 89 35831 7120 – E-mail: elisa.resconi@tum.de
Technische Universität München (TUM) is one of Europe’s leading universities. It has roughly 500 professors, 10,000 academic and non-academic staff, and 35,000 students. It focuses on the engineering sciences, natural sciences, life sciences, medicine, and economic sciences. After winning numerous awards, it was selected as an “Excellence University” in 2006 and 2012 by the Science Council (Wissenschaftsrat) and the German Research Foundation (DFG). In both international and national rankings, TUM is rated as one of Germany’s top universities and is dedicated to the ideal of a top-level research-oriented entrepreneurial university. The university's global presence includes offices in Beijing (China), Brussels (Belgium), Cairo (Egypt), Mumbai (India) and São Paulo (Brazil). The German Institute of Science and Technology (GIST - TUM Asia), founded in 2002 in Singapore, is the first research campus of a German university abroad.

Dr. Andreas Battenberg | Technische Universität München
Further information:
http://www.tum.de

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Climate cycles may explain how running water carved Mars' surface features
02.12.2016 | Penn State

nachricht What do Netflix, Google and planetary systems have in common?
02.12.2016 | University of Toronto

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: Novel silicon etching technique crafts 3-D gradient refractive index micro-optics

A multi-institutional research collaboration has created a novel approach for fabricating three-dimensional micro-optics through the shape-defined formation of porous silicon (PSi), with broad impacts in integrated optoelectronics, imaging, and photovoltaics.

Working with colleagues at Stanford and The Dow Chemical Company, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign fabricated 3-D birefringent...

Im Focus: Quantum Particles Form Droplets

In experiments with magnetic atoms conducted at extremely low temperatures, scientists have demonstrated a unique phase of matter: The atoms form a new type of quantum liquid or quantum droplet state. These so called quantum droplets may preserve their form in absence of external confinement because of quantum effects. The joint team of experimental physicists from Innsbruck and theoretical physicists from Hannover report on their findings in the journal Physical Review X.

“Our Quantum droplets are in the gas phase but they still drop like a rock,” explains experimental physicist Francesca Ferlaino when talking about the...

Im Focus: MADMAX: Max Planck Institute for Physics takes up axion research

The Max Planck Institute for Physics (MPP) is opening up a new research field. A workshop from November 21 - 22, 2016 will mark the start of activities for an innovative axion experiment. Axions are still only purely hypothetical particles. Their detection could solve two fundamental problems in particle physics: What dark matter consists of and why it has not yet been possible to directly observe a CP violation for the strong interaction.

The “MADMAX” project is the MPP’s commitment to axion research. Axions are so far only a theoretical prediction and are difficult to detect: on the one hand,...

Im Focus: Molecules change shape when wet

Broadband rotational spectroscopy unravels structural reshaping of isolated molecules in the gas phase to accommodate water

In two recent publications in the Journal of Chemical Physics and in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, researchers around Melanie Schnell from the Max...

Im Focus: Fraunhofer ISE Develops Highly Compact, High Frequency DC/DC Converter for Aviation

The efficiency of power electronic systems is not solely dependent on electrical efficiency but also on weight, for example, in mobile systems. When the weight of relevant components and devices in airplanes, for instance, is reduced, fuel savings can be achieved and correspondingly greenhouse gas emissions decreased. New materials and components based on gallium nitride (GaN) can help to reduce weight and increase the efficiency. With these new materials, power electronic switches can be operated at higher switching frequency, resulting in higher power density and lower material costs.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems ISE together with partners have investigated how these materials can be used to make power...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

ICTM Conference 2017: Production technology for turbomachine manufacturing of the future

16.11.2016 | Event News

Innovation Day Laser Technology – Laser Additive Manufacturing

01.11.2016 | Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

 
Latest News

UTSA study describes new minimally invasive device to treat cancer and other illnesses

02.12.2016 | Medical Engineering

Plasma-zapping process could yield trans fat-free soybean oil product

02.12.2016 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

What do Netflix, Google and planetary systems have in common?

02.12.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>