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:
Dr. Andreas Battenberg | Technische Universität München
UNH scientists help provide first-ever views of elusive energy explosion
16.11.2018 | University of New Hampshire
NASA keeps watch over space explosions
16.11.2018 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
Researchers at the University of New Hampshire have captured a difficult-to-view singular event involving "magnetic reconnection"--the process by which sparse particles and energy around Earth collide producing a quick but mighty explosion--in the Earth's magnetotail, the magnetic environment that trails behind the planet.
Magnetic reconnection has remained a bit of a mystery to scientists. They know it exists and have documented the effects that the energy explosions can...
Biochips have been developed at TU Wien (Vienna), on which tissue can be produced and examined. This allows supplying the tissue with different substances in a very controlled way.
Cultivating human cells in the Petri dish is not a big challenge today. Producing artificial tissue, however, permeated by fine blood vessels, is a much more...
Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.
In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...
On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.
When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure
Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...
09.11.2018 | Event News
06.11.2018 | Event News
23.10.2018 | Event News
16.11.2018 | Life Sciences
16.11.2018 | Life Sciences
16.11.2018 | Physics and Astronomy