Sunday, July 13, 2008

Chasing Neutrinos

The IceCube array

IceCube array and drill camp at bedrock beneath.

"The IceCube Neutrino Detector is a neutrino telescope currently under construction at the South Pole. Like its predecessor, the Antarctic Muon And Neutrino Detector Array (AMANDA), IceCube is being constructed in deep Antarctic ice by deploying thousands of spherical optical sensors (photomultiplier tubes, or PMTs) at depths between 1,450 and 2,450 meters. The sensors are deployed on "strings" of sixty modules each, into holes in the ice melted using a hot water drill."

For as long as I can remember detecting the neutrinos has been like the ultimate experiment for astrophysicists. The mass of the Universe is still unknown. The neutrinos will help us make better estimates of the mass - and hence improve our models of the Universe. No less!

I bet we are up for some surprises!

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