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 NASA's James Webb Space Telescope completes final cryogenic testing
21.11.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

nachricht Previous evidence of water on mars now identified as grainflows
21.11.2017 | US Geological Survey

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: Nanoparticles help with malaria diagnosis – new rapid test in development

The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.

Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Previous evidence of water on mars now identified as grainflows

21.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

NASA's James Webb Space Telescope completes final cryogenic testing

21.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

New catalyst controls activation of a carbon-hydrogen bond

21.11.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>