Astronomy and the higher-power neutrinos

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Bellingham, Washington, USA (PRWEB) December 02, 2014

Scientists at a huge underground particle detector in Antarctica named the IceCube South Pole Neutrino Observatory have detected higher-power neutrinos, best for the future of “intense astronomy” since they can be employed to detect the sources of cosmic rays and offer info about our universe’s most violent and least-understood phenomena.

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“This is the initial indication of very high-energy neutrinos coming from outdoors our solar program,” says Francis Halzen in a press release about the discovery. Halzen is the principal scientist at IceCube and a physics professor at University of Wisconsin-Madison, exactly where the IceCube project is headquartered. “It is gratifying to ultimately see what we have been searching for. This is the dawn of a new age of astronomy.”

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Due to the fact neutrinos are subatomic particles with small mass and no electric charge, their interactions with matter are so weak that they normally pass through Earth with out detection, Halzen writes in “Observing high-energy neutrinos with IceCube,” an open-access write-up published 26 November in the SPIE Newsroom.

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A majority of the higher-energy neutrinos zipping by means of the universe have been made in collisions about 15 billion years ago, soon soon after the birth of the universe. Other people are continuously getting created from nuclear power stations, particle accelerators, nuclear bombs, atmospheric events, and for the duration of the births, collisions, and deaths of stars. About one hundred trillion neutrinos pass through our bodies each and every second.

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“They can travel unscathed from the edge of the universe, from the inner neighborhoods of black holes, and from the nuclear furnaces exactly where cosmic rays are thought to be designed,” Halzen writes.

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The $ 271-million IceCube particle detector transformed a cubic kilometer of Antarctic ice into an array of five,160 optical sensors on 86 strings that extend eight,000 feet beneath the ice surface, where the intense stress gives completely transparent ice. Each and every so usually, a high-power neutrino passing through Earth collides with a nucleus in the ice, creating electrically charged secondary particles that radiate in a glow of blue light (called Cherenkov radiation).

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“Now that we have the complete detector we finally have the sensitivity to see these events,” Halzen told SPIE.

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The radiation spreads via the transparent ice for hundreds of feet, exactly where it can be detected by the IceCube’s optical sensors. By mapping the light pool utilizing data collected from Might 2014 to May possibly 2014, scientists have discovered the flavor, energy, and arrival direction of more than 28 higher-power neutrino events so far.

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Scientists had been initially surprised to detect two neutrinos with ultra-higher energies in the petaelectronvolt (PeV) range, rather than in the super-exaelectronvolt (EeV) variety they anticipated for cosmogenic neutrinos. This information led them to design a filter for IceCube to exclusively determine neutrinos that interact inside the detector, eliminating issues with atmospheric neutrinos.

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“Soon after detecting hundreds of thousands of atmospheric neutrinos, we have ultimately identified something distinct,” says Halzen. “We’ve been waiting for this for a long time. Now on to the astronomy.”

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About SPIE

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SPIE is the international society for optics and photonics, a not-for-profit organization founded in 1955 to advance light-based technologies. The Society serves nearly 235,000 constituents from roughly 155 nations, supplying conferences, continuing education, books, journals, and a digital library in help of interdisciplinary details exchange, expert networking, and patent

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