135 – High-Energy Neutrinos and the IceCube Neutrino Observatory
This episode covers the discovery (strictly speaking, “strong evidence”) for high-energy (astrophysical) neutrinos. The discovery was announced on 22 November 2013. In this episode we talk with DESY‘s Markus Ackermann about the the evidence for astrophysical neutrinos and why they are important. We also discuss how the the IceCube Neutrino Observatory works, which opened up this new field of astronomy. We conclude with a brief conversation about traveling to, and living at the south pole, where IceCube is located.
DESY’s press release on the subject can be found here, and the Science paper can be found at this DOI.
The episode is essentially self-contained, but if you are interested in more background, you should check out the omega tau episodes on neutrinos in general, the standard model of particle physics, and gamma ray astronomy with the Cherenkov Telescope Array.
- IceCube Neutrino Observatory
- Neutrino (WP)
- Electronvolt (WP)
- Cosmic ray (WP)
- Super-Kamiokande Official Homepage
- Black Hole (WP)
- Supernova (WP)
- Gamma ray (WP)
- Cherenkov radiation (WP)
- Photomultiplier (WP)
- Tracking and Data Relay Satellite (WP)
- Amundsen–Scott South Pole Station (WP), the free …
- National Science Foundation
- University of Wisconsin–Madison
- McMurdo Station (WP)
- Boeing C-17 (WP)
- Lockheed C-130 Hercules (WP)
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“We also discuss how the the IceCube Neutrino Observatory, which opened up this new field of astronomy.” Sounds incomplete :-)
Have not yet listened to your new episode… but sounds very interesting … as usual. Thanks for your great work!
Right, thanks. Fixed. I wonder how this slipped through our elaborate QA process :-)
I’m curious how many levels of indirection are introduced when performing analysis using these naturally accelerated neutrinos. Obviously in astronomy scientists have to use every trick they can since they have no direct access to what they’re analyzing. But if you’re measuring the effects of effects of effects then there has to be a significant amount of error introduced.
Indeed. That’s why a large number of measurements are required, and a lot of statistical analysis is used. This is where the 4.1 sigma come from. And all the models used contain explicit error terms, so the effects of errors on every level are part of the computation (at least that’s how I understand it).
habe versucht Euren Beitrag als WebLink auf Wikipedia einzutragen. Mal schauen ob er akzeptiert wird. Spannende Folge. Danke.
Super, danke Jörg!
do you know the planned lifetime of icecube? I couldn’t find it, but due to the Antartic treaty the whole instalation will have to be removed eventually, correct? And is that even possible?
I don’t know that, but I will forward your question to Markus Ackermann.
Here is the answer from Markus Ackermann:
the anticipated lifetime of IceCube is 10 years minimum, but possibly much longer (depending on scientific output and budget constraints), maybe even more than 20 years. Everything in the ice cannot be removed, everything on the surface will be removed eventually. The antarctic treaty has as far as I know some exceptions for scientific instrumentation that allows them to stay in the ice permanently.
Well not really permanently, in about 100000 years the IceCube sensors will reach the sea moving with the Antarctic glacier where they might be recovered by some future generation of Archaeologists :-)
Thanks both of you for the quick response! For your information, I am following the http://www.scottexpedition.com at the moment. That’s were my question originated from, because they have to make sure nothing is left behind.
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What a great story! Thank you for this episode. Neutrino’s will always be fascinating.