The largest particle detector in the world called IceCube is in the eternal ice of Antarctica. Now he has discovered neutrinos from the universe that are millions of times more energetic than a supernova.
With a huge detector in the eternal ice of the Antarctic explorer who first observed high-energy neutrinos from the depths of the cosmos. Neutrinos are nearly massless elementary particles. They are unique messengers of the most energetic events in the universe, such as stellar explosions.
“This is the first indication of very high energy neutrinos that come from beyond our solar system,” said project leader Professor Francis Halzen of the University of Wisconsin-Madison (USA).
The 28 neutrinos with energies above 30 tera-electron volts (TeV) were captured by the IceCube detector at the South Pole, the largest particle detector in the world.
The international IceCube team includes about 260 scientists from eleven countries. Involved are also several German universities and the German Electron Synchrotron DESY (Hamburg). The team reported in the U.S. journal “Science” about the discovery.
neutrinos from the cosmos were discovered already in the stellar explosion supernova 1987A. “The now proven with IceCube neutrino, however, have a million times more energy than those of the supernova 1987A,” stressed the head of neutrino astronomy group at Desy, Markus Ackermann, from Zeuthen near Berlin.
“We maybe experiencing the birth of neutrino astronomy,” Ackermann said. A spatial or temporal clustering of the 28 events that would indicate a certain cosmic source, the IceCube researchers could not determine. To this end, the number is still too small. With increasing numbers proof, the scientists hope to identify individual sources of high-energy neutrinos in the universe.
According to the Technical University of Munich, which is also involved in the project, the installation of a cubic-kilometer IceCube was completed in 2010 after seven years of construction. At a depth from 1450 to 2450 meters in the Antarctic 86 wire cables are sunk with 5160 optical sensors.