Understanding Physics: New Messages from Space

02/11/2017

Talk by Professor Christopher Wiebusch on the hunt for neutrinos in the Antarctic

The IceCube Neutrino Observatory, located at the geographic South Pole, is not only one of the largest neutrino detectors on Earth, but also one of the most peculiar research instruments in modern Physics. As Christopher Wiebusch from the RWTH institute of Physics III explains, "The detector consists of one cubic kilometer of ice, located about 2,000 meters beneath the surface of the Antarctic ice sheet. In the complete darkness, with the help of ultra-sensitive light sensors, it is possible to detect light flashes resulting from extremely rare neutrino reactions."

T he IceCube detector opens up new avenues to gain insights into unresolved questions: possibly even the origin of cosmic radiation can be resolved with the help of the detector.

After several years of construction, the IceCube Neutrino Observatory was completed in 2011 by an international collaboration of 310 scientists from 44 institutions in 12 countries. Only a few years later, the involved scientists were able to announce a sensational research result: the discovery of extremely high-energy neutrinos reaching the Earth from distant regions of the Universe.

The lecture, which is schedulded to take place Saturday, November 4, starting at 11am in lecture hall H03, C.A.R.L. auditorium, provides a short introduction to the physics of neutrinos and explains how the measurements with the IceCube detector actually work.

The event is part of the "Understanding Physics" lecture series organized by RWTHextern citizen's forum. Please note that the lecture will be given in German. The interested public is invited to attend.