Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

South Pole telescope follows trail of neutrinos into deepest reaches of the universe

28.01.2003


Researchers can now pinpoint direction of elusive subatomic particles key to understanding black holes, other cosmic events


Photo credit: The University of Wisconsin



A unique telescope buried in Antarctic ice promises unparalleled insight into such extraordinary phenomena as colliding black holes, gamma-ray bursts, the violent cores of distant galaxies and the wreckage of exploded stars.

An international team of physicists and astronomers, which includes UC Irvine researchers, report that the AMANDA telescope is capable of tracking high-energy neutrinos — elusive subatomic particles — to their sources, which are emitted by these signature events. Their findings will be published in the Feb. 1. 2003, issue of the Astrophysical Journal.


"We now have a powerful new tool to scan the heavens," said Steven Barwick, a UCI physicist and corresponding author on the report. "This marks a significant breakthrough in the field of high-energy neutrino astronomy. AMANDA does what it was designed to do. Of all the high-energy particles emitted from the violent, energetic events in the universe, only neutrinos can directly provide information on these activities."

Neutrinos are invisible, uncharged, nearly massless particles that, unlike other kinds of radiation, speed through the universe unhindered by planets, stars, magnetic fields or entire galaxies. The particles are emitted by phenomena scientists believe can help them understand the origins of the universe.

Using the AMANDA detector — a massive, 400-meter tall structure consisting of 308 optical sensors each the size of a bowling ball — the physicists examined a previously unexplored region of the sky. They calculated that AMANDA could measure the direction of neutrinos within 3.5 degrees, which is accurate enough to reveal sources of high-energy neutrinos. They also determined that an improved version of the detector, AMANDA-II, which has been operational since January 2000, can provide as much as 10 times more information on the emission sources of these neutrinos.

First operational in 1997, the Antarctic Muon and Neutrino Detector Array (AMANDA) facility was established to study the high-energy form of neutrinos, which has 10,000 times more energy than that of low-energy neutrinos emitted by the sun. Buried more than one-and-a-half kilometers beneath the South Pole, the National Science Foundation-funded AMANDA telescope is pointed into the ground instead of up at the sky, so the Earth can act as a filter for other forms of radiation. This means despite its location in the South Pole, the "eye" of the telescope is actually the northern skies.

Along with Barwick, other UCI researchers contributing to the AMANDA project are Lisa Gerhardt, Kyler Kuehn, John Kim, Pat Mock, David Ross, Wenqing Wu, Gaurang Yodh and Scott Young. Overall, 105 scientists from 20 universities and institutes in the United States, Europe and South America collaborate on AMANDA research. Their work is supported by a variety of international sources, including the U.S. National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the UCI AENEAS Supercomputer Facility.

Tom Vasich
(949) 824-6455
tmvasich@uci.edu

Tom Vasich | UCI
Further information:
http://amanda.uci.edu/
http://today.uci.edu/news/release_detail.asp?key=970

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht New quantum liquid crystals may play role in future of computers
21.04.2017 | California Institute of Technology

nachricht Light rays from a supernova bent by the curvature of space-time around a galaxy
21.04.2017 | Stockholm University

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: Deep inside Galaxy M87

The nearby, giant radio galaxy M87 hosts a supermassive black hole (BH) and is well-known for its bright jet dominating the spectrum over ten orders of magnitude in frequency. Due to its proximity, jet prominence, and the large black hole mass, M87 is the best laboratory for investigating the formation, acceleration, and collimation of relativistic jets. A research team led by Silke Britzen from the Max Planck Institute for Radio Astronomy in Bonn, Germany, has found strong indication for turbulent processes connecting the accretion disk and the jet of that galaxy providing insights into the longstanding problem of the origin of astrophysical jets.

Supermassive black holes form some of the most enigmatic phenomena in astrophysics. Their enormous energy output is supposed to be generated by the...

Im Focus: A Quantum Low Pass for Photons

Physicists in Garching observe novel quantum effect that limits the number of emitted photons.

The probability to find a certain number of photons inside a laser pulse usually corresponds to a classical distribution of independent events, the so-called...

Im Focus: Microprocessors based on a layer of just three atoms

Microprocessors based on atomically thin materials hold the promise of the evolution of traditional processors as well as new applications in the field of flexible electronics. Now, a TU Wien research team led by Thomas Müller has made a breakthrough in this field as part of an ongoing research project.

Two-dimensional materials, or 2D materials for short, are extremely versatile, although – or often more precisely because – they are made up of just one or a...

Im Focus: Quantum-physical Model System

Computer-assisted methods aid Heidelberg physicists in reproducing experiment with ultracold atoms

Two researchers at Heidelberg University have developed a model system that enables a better understanding of the processes in a quantum-physical experiment...

Im Focus: Glacier bacteria’s contribution to carbon cycling

Glaciers might seem rather inhospitable environments. However, they are home to a diverse and vibrant microbial community. It’s becoming increasingly clear that they play a bigger role in the carbon cycle than previously thought.

A new study, now published in the journal Nature Geoscience, shows how microbial communities in melting glaciers contribute to the Earth’s carbon cycle, a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Expert meeting “Health Business Connect” will connect international medical technology companies

20.04.2017 | Event News

Wenn der Computer das Gehirn austrickst

18.04.2017 | Event News

7th International Conference on Crystalline Silicon Photovoltaics in Freiburg on April 3-5, 2017

03.04.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New quantum liquid crystals may play role in future of computers

21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

A promising target for kidney fibrosis

21.04.2017 | Health and Medicine

Light rays from a supernova bent by the curvature of space-time around a galaxy

21.04.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>