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 Hope to discover sure signs of life on Mars? New research says look for the element vanadium
22.09.2017 | University of Kansas

nachricht Calculating quietness
22.09.2017 | Forschungszentrum MATHEON ECMath

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: The pyrenoid is a carbon-fixing liquid droplet

Plants and algae use the enzyme Rubisco to fix carbon dioxide, removing it from the atmosphere and converting it into biomass. Algae have figured out a way to increase the efficiency of carbon fixation. They gather most of their Rubisco into a ball-shaped microcompartment called the pyrenoid, which they flood with a high local concentration of carbon dioxide. A team of scientists at Princeton University, the Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University and the Max Plank Institute of Biochemistry have unravelled the mysteries of how the pyrenoid is assembled. These insights can help to engineer crops that remove more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere while producing more food.

A warming planet

Im Focus: Highly precise wiring in the Cerebral Cortex

Our brains house extremely complex neuronal circuits, whose detailed structures are still largely unknown. This is especially true for the so-called cerebral cortex of mammals, where among other things vision, thoughts or spatial orientation are being computed. Here the rules by which nerve cells are connected to each other are only partly understood. A team of scientists around Moritz Helmstaedter at the Frankfiurt Max Planck Institute for Brain Research and Helene Schmidt (Humboldt University in Berlin) have now discovered a surprisingly precise nerve cell connectivity pattern in the part of the cerebral cortex that is responsible for orienting the individual animal or human in space.

The researchers report online in Nature (Schmidt et al., 2017. Axonal synapse sorting in medial entorhinal cortex, DOI: 10.1038/nature24005) that synapses in...

Im Focus: Tiny lasers from a gallery of whispers

New technique promises tunable laser devices

Whispering gallery mode (WGM) resonators are used to make tiny micro-lasers, sensors, switches, routers and other devices. These tiny structures rely on a...

Im Focus: Ultrafast snapshots of relaxing electrons in solids

Using ultrafast flashes of laser and x-ray radiation, scientists at the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics (Garching, Germany) took snapshots of the briefest electron motion inside a solid material to date. The electron motion lasted only 750 billionths of the billionth of a second before it fainted, setting a new record of human capability to capture ultrafast processes inside solids!

When x-rays shine onto solid materials or large molecules, an electron is pushed away from its original place near the nucleus of the atom, leaving a hole...

Im Focus: Quantum Sensors Decipher Magnetic Ordering in a New Semiconducting Material

For the first time, physicists have successfully imaged spiral magnetic ordering in a multiferroic material. These materials are considered highly promising candidates for future data storage media. The researchers were able to prove their findings using unique quantum sensors that were developed at Basel University and that can analyze electromagnetic fields on the nanometer scale. The results – obtained by scientists from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics, the Swiss Nanoscience Institute, the University of Montpellier and several laboratories from University Paris-Saclay – were recently published in the journal Nature.

Multiferroics are materials that simultaneously react to electric and magnetic fields. These two properties are rarely found together, and their combined...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

“Lasers in Composites Symposium” in Aachen – from Science to Application

19.09.2017 | Event News

I-ESA 2018 – Call for Papers

12.09.2017 | Event News

EMBO at Basel Life, a new conference on current and emerging life science research

06.09.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Rainbow colors reveal cell history: Uncovering β-cell heterogeneity

22.09.2017 | Life Sciences

Penn first in world to treat patient with new radiation technology

22.09.2017 | Medical Engineering

Calculating quietness

22.09.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>