135 – High-Energy Neutrinos and the IceCube Neutrino Observatory

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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.