Comprehensive coverage

Construction of the IceCube Antarctic neutrino telescope has been completed

The "telescope" or rather the neutron particle detector consists of a series of sensors scattered within a cubic kilometer of ice at a station located at the geographic South Pole

Drilling the last hole to place the sensors of the ICE CUBE project in the South Pole. Photo: NSF
Drilling the last hole to place the sensors of the ICE CUBE project in the South Pole. Photo: NSF

After a decade of planning, innovation and testing, the construction of the largest neutrino telescope in the world was completed this week, installed on the Great Ice Plain at the exact point of the geographic South Pole.

The 86th and last hole was dug and a total of 5,160 optical sensors were placed forming the main detector - a cubic kilometer of instruments embedded in the ice - of the neutrino observatory located at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station of the US National Science Foundation.

From the unique point of view at the end of the world, IceCube provides a novel meaning for the study of the properties of the elementary particles that originate in some of the most spectacular phenomena in the universe.

In the dark and calm depths of the Antarctic ice, IceCube records rare collisions of neutrinos - elusive subatomic particles - with the nuclei of the atoms in the water molecules that make up the ice. Some neutrinos originate from the Sun while others come from cosmic rays interacting with Earth's atmosphere and from dramatic astronomical sources such as exploding stars in the Milky Way and distant galaxies. Streams containing trillions of neutrinos pass through the human body at any given moment, but they rarely encounter ordinary matter, and researchers want to know more about them and where they come from.

The size of the observatory is important because it increases the number of potential collisions that can be observed, making neutrino astrophysics realistic.

The completion of construction brings to a climax one of the most complex multinational scientific projects ever accomplished. The US National Science Foundation (NSF) contributed $242 million out of the total project cost of $279 million. The NSF manages the US Antarctic Program, which coordinates all US research on the southern continent.

to the announcement of the NSF

More of the topic in Hayadan:

11 תגובות

  1. An energetic neutrino reacting in the detector collides with the ice atoms and causes a charged particle to fly at tremendous speed. This particle causes the emission of a weak light during its flight which is picked up by the optical sensors in the ice.

    A neutrino from a supernova is not very energetic and the amount of light produced only reaches a single sensor (at best). To determine the direction of arrival of the particle, you need much more light reaching more detectors and using them to guess the trajectory of the particle - like a jet plane leaves behind a streak by which you can guess the trajectory of the plane long after the plane has passed. It is not possible to reconstruct the plane's trajectory with a small white spot - a long line is needed.

    The distance between the optical sensors determines the sensitivity of the detector. The greater the distance, the more energetic a particle is needed to create a track, but a larger volume can be covered. Icecube was designed to detect higher energy neutrinos.
    Since neutrinos from the sun or a supernova are of relatively low energy, Iskiov will not be able to reconstruct the direction of their arrival. But since the amount of neutrinos expected to be emitted in a supernova is enormous, it will be possible to measure a supernova in Iskiov by measuring an increase in the background noise and get information about the duration and the amount of neutrinos emitted.

    It is not possible to "release" a neutrino at a certain time and direction. Iskov is tested and calibrated with the help of neutrinos that are continuously created in the atmosphere.

  2. It's amazing that they managed to lift such a project in such extreme cold conditions.

    Carlos, this should be none of your business. Go see big brother.

  3. for Jubilee
    Neutrinos are constantly being released from the sun and you should see several sparkles per day in this massive block of ice
    good evening

  4. Carlos (6)
    As stated in the body of the article, the general goal of this project is to study the properties of elementary particles (in particular, the neutrino). Are you asking why it is good?
    A. It's incredibly exciting to research this topic and it's even more exciting when you actually discover something new. Since time immemorial gaining an understanding of the world we live in has been a very strong motive for some people.
    B. History shows that progress in understanding the structure and behavior of this world leads, sometimes in unexpected ways, to quite amazing knowledge and technologies that existed at best in the imagination. To achieve the same understanding one has to do a lot of basic research. Whoever invests these funds understands this very well.

    I hope you didn't mean the more specific goals. If so, you can find a more detailed reference here:

  5. And it should interest me because?….
    And if you invest in such a project, money, efforts and technological advancement, what is the big goal behind it? Why this investment?

  6. When a neutrino collides with a water molecule it glows slightly for a small moment.

    What they are looking for is these sparkles.

  7. How exactly do you detect a neutrino collision using optical sensors?
    Does the collision with the nucleus of the atom release heat?
    In such a collision is there conservation of momentum or conservation of energy?

  8. When supernova 1987A exploded one of the things that was missing was determining the direction from where the neutrinos were coming from. It was assumed at the time in the USA and Japan that they had "tiny" facilities for detecting neutrinos, that the neutrinos came from the super nova.
    The question is whether they will succeed in the aforementioned mega telescope to determine the direction as well, and if so, how do they do it.
    Good night
    Sabdarmish Yehuda

Leave a Reply

Email will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismat to prevent spam messages. Click here to learn how your response data is processed.