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 Physicists Design Ultrafocused Pulses
27.07.2017 | Universität Innsbruck

nachricht CCNY physicists master unexplored electron property
26.07.2017 | City College of New York

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: Physicists Design Ultrafocused Pulses

Physicists working with researcher Oriol Romero-Isart devised a new simple scheme to theoretically generate arbitrarily short and focused electromagnetic fields. This new tool could be used for precise sensing and in microscopy.

Microwaves, heat radiation, light and X-radiation are examples for electromagnetic waves. Many applications require to focus the electromagnetic fields to...

Im Focus: Carbon Nanotubes Turn Electrical Current into Light-emitting Quasi-particles

Strong light-matter coupling in these semiconducting tubes may hold the key to electrically pumped lasers

Light-matter quasi-particles can be generated electrically in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Material scientists and physicists from Heidelberg University...

Im Focus: Flexible proximity sensor creates smart surfaces

Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.

At first glance, the proximity sensor appears to be nothing special: a thin, elastic layer of silicone onto which black square surfaces are printed, but these...

Im Focus: 3-D scanning with water

3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects

A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...

Im Focus: Manipulating Electron Spins Without Loss of Information

Physicists have developed a new technique that uses electrical voltages to control the electron spin on a chip. The newly-developed method provides protection from spin decay, meaning that the contained information can be maintained and transmitted over comparatively large distances, as has been demonstrated by a team from the University of Basel’s Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute. The results have been published in Physical Review X.

For several years, researchers have been trying to use the spin of an electron to store and transmit information. The spin of each electron is always coupled...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

Closing the Sustainability Circle: Protection of Food with Biobased Materials

21.07.2017 | Event News

»We are bringing Additive Manufacturing to SMEs«

19.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Programming cells with computer-like logic

27.07.2017 | Life Sciences

Identified the component that allows a lethal bacteria to spread resistance to antibiotics

27.07.2017 | Life Sciences

Malaria Already Endemic in the Mediterranean by the Roman Period

27.07.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>