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Sunday, 30 October 2011

Spencer Klein: Neutrino Astronomy in Antarctica

Spencer Klein presents a public talk at UC Berkeley on August 21, 2010, as part of the Science@Cal Lecture Series .

For the past 50 years, scientists have been studying cosmic-ray air showers consisting of billions of particles, produced when an ultra-high energy particle strikes the earth.  Despite enormous effort, we still have not found the cosmic accelerators that create these particles.

One way to find these accelerators is to search for the neutrinos that they produce. Neutrinos travel cosmic distances in a straight line, interact weakly, and can reach us even through dust clouds or other obstructions. Because of their weak interactions, huge detectors are required to observe these neutrinos. Antarctic ice is an attractive material, and several neutrino detectors are being built there. The 1-cubic-kilometer IceCube neutrino observatory is already in partial operation at the South Pole. The proposed 100 cubic-kilometer ARIANNA detector will be located on the Ross Ice Shelf, about 20 miles offshore.

Other Science@Cal lectures

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