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Exploring the dark side

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A novel astronomical messenger called a neutrino to probe the universe, THE ICECUBE Neutrino Detector is a neutrino telescope currently under construction at the South Pole. The IceCube telescope is a powerful tool to search for dark matter, and could reveal the new physical processes associated with the enigmatic origin of the highest energy particles in nature. Neutrinos are produced by the decay of radioactive elements and elementary particles such as pions. Unlike photons or charged particles, neutrinos can emerge from deep inside their sources and travel across the universe without interference. For every muon from a cosmic neutrino, IceCube detects a million more muons produced by cosmic rays in the atmosphere above the detector. IceCube looks through the earth and to the northern skies, using the planet as a filter to select neutrinos. Since the 1950s scientists have built a compelling scientific case for doing astronomy and particle physics using high-energy neutrinos. The challenge has been one of technology to build the kilometre-sized observatory needed to do the science. Theorists anticipate that an instrument of this size is required to study neutrinos from distant astrophysical sources.

Published in:

Control & Automation  (Volume:18 ,  Issue: 6 )

Date of Publication:

Dec.-Jan. 2007

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