From U Wisconsin IceCube- “WIPAC scientists lead UW2020: WARF Discovery Initiative award”

icecube
U Wisconsin IceCube South Pole Neutrino Observatory

May 26, 2017
Sílvia Bravo

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Kael Hanson, WIPAC director and professor of physics at UW–Madison. Credit: WIPAC.

Kael Hanson, WIPAC director and a professor of physics at UW–Madison, has been awarded a UW2020: WARF Discovery Initiative grant to explore the potential of the Askaryan radio detection method in the future upgrade of the IceCube Neutrino Observatory, the so-called IceCube-Gen2 facility.

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U Wisconsin IceCube Gen 2

High-energy neutrinos are a big deal for WIPAC scientists and staff. Under Hanson’s supervision, over sixty scientists and technicians work on the maintenance and operations activities of the IceCube Neutrino Observatory, a cubic-kilometer detector at the South Pole, including data taking and management. A smaller group of faculty, researchers, and students also works on data analysis and has produced outstanding IceCube results, including the discovery of astrophysical neutrinos. This team includes IceCube principal investigator Francis Halzen and IceCube associate director for science and instrumentation Albrecht Karle. Halzen and Karle are also professors of physics at UW–Madison.

IceCube detects high-energy neutrinos by recording the bluish light, also called Cherenkov light, produced when neutrinos interact in the ice and emit showers of charged secondary particles. IceCube has instrumented a huge volume of ice to capture these rare neutrino events, whose flux decreases drastically with energy. As a result, IceCube’s sensitivity to neutrinos above 10 PeV is very limited.

Consequently, the WIPAC team in conjunction with the worldwide IceCube-Gen2 Collaboration, is boosting efforts on IceCube-Gen2. The new facility will include a larger optical Cherenkov detector array, similar to the current in-ice detector, and will also feature other detectors to improve and broaden the science scope.

See the full article here .

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ICECUBE neutrino detector
IceCube is a particle detector at the South Pole that records the interactions of a nearly massless sub-atomic particle called the neutrino. IceCube searches for neutrinos from the most violent astrophysical sources: events like exploding stars, gamma ray bursts, and cataclysmic phenomena involving black holes and neutron stars. 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. In addition, exploring the background of neutrinos produced in the atmosphere, IceCube studies the neutrinos themselves; their energies far exceed those produced by accelerator beams. IceCube is the world’s largest neutrino detector, encompassing a cubic kilometer of ice.

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