Let The Hunt Begin!

A neutrino is a weakly interacting electrically neutral subatomic particle.  That is a mouthful to say that neutrinos don’t have an electric charge, so they are not affected by  electromagnetic forces and normally pass through matter.

Sven Lidstrom, IceCube/NSF

Naturally, scientists are more than a little curious about neutrinos.  But how do you analyze something that doesn’t interact with matter or other particles (except occasionally)?  The answer is IceCube.

Icecube-architecture-diagram2009.PNG

The IceCube Neutrino Observatory is a neutrino telescope that was constructed at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station in Antarctica.  Thousands of sensors are spread out over a cubic kilometer under the Antarctic ice designed to measure the flux, or rate, of high-energy neutrinos and try to identify some of their sources.

IceCube consists of spherical optical sensors called Digital Optical Modules (DOMs), each with a photomultiplier tube and a single board data acquisition computer which sends digital data to the counting house on the surface above the array.

After completion in 2010, IceCube has detected the second highest-energy neutrino ever observed that came from outside the solar system.  Considering that billions of neutrinos pass through our bodies unnoticed every second (mostly produced by our own sun), this is a pretty significant discovery.

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California and I am a Rising Star as rated by Super Lawyers Magazine.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +

Norman

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s