IceCube neutrino detector registered from outside the solar system

Scientists have for the first time to get a reliable traces of neutrinos from outside the solar system. Of course, no one doubted their existence, but now they were the first to register and prove that the source is in deep space. Helped in the IceCube neutrino detector at the South Pole.


IceCube neutrino found 28 with abnormally high energy. "This is a great result. It may mark the beginning of neutrino astronomy, - не hide pleasure Darren Grant (Darren Grant), an assistant professor of physics at the University of Alberta and one of the leaders of the project IceCube Collaboration, which brings together more than 250 physicists and engineers from a dozen countries.

Neutrinos from outside the solar system have a higher energy. They were formed as a result of various cosmic phenomena, such as gamma-ray bursts, the formation of black holes and galactic nuclei far in the universe. The study of these neutrinos allows you to look beyond the limited resolution of the optical and radio telescopes.

Until now, scientists have studied only the low-energy neutrinos, which were born in the upper layers of the atmosphere, as well as particles of not very intelligent supernova 1987A. But 28 new neutrinos have much more energy: from 30 to 1200 TeV! For comparison, after the upgrade of the LHC in 2015 with an increase in its capacity he can push a particle with energy "only" 14 TeV.


Neutrinos with a record energy of 1, 2 PeV registered January 3, 2012 and received by physicists name Ernie (Ernie) i>

These neutrinos apparently came from afar, with the scientists can not yet say exactly where, because 28 neutrinos no clustering in time or space. "I am sure that in 20 years we'll look back and say, yes, it was the beginning of neutrino astronomy," - said John Lirnid (John Learned) in comments for the magazine Science.

Neutrino observatory IceCube («Ice Cube") went into full production in December 2010, although in a limited mode before beginning work. The design consists of 5160 optical detectors, carefully frozen in the ice at depths of 1450 to 2450 meters (tunnels in the ice paved with hot water). Detectors are collected in 86 kilometer strands of 60 pieces. The design is schematically shown in the illustration.


It turns out that as a detector uses a huge block of ice, which is surrounded by the frozen there sensors. Here are the individual optical sensors. Sensors record the Cherenkov radiation high-energy muons, moving out of the ground. These muons can be produced only in the interaction of muon neutrinos passing through the Earth, and the electrons and nucleons ice. Thousands of kilometers of terrestrial matter serve as a filter cutting off the "extra" particles. That is, at the South Pole IceCube detects neutrinos coming from the northern hemisphere sky.


Ice "cubes" (more precisely, a regular hexagonal prism) is the world's largest neutrino detector. Maybe he will get the first evidence for the existence of multiple dimensions in the universe, confirming теорию strings , on the basis of which to formulate a unified theory, a Holy Grail of modern physics.

String theory predicts the existence of sterile neutrinos , who come to us from other dimensions with speed, ostensibly (to the observer) exceeds the light barrier ( as well as the propagation speed of gravity for us, observers also allegedly exceeds photocell). Actually, these sterile neutrinos, among others, is looking for IceCube.

IceCube project started in 2002, and the installation of detectors began in 2005. By December 2010, work was completed in 2011, the system ran at full capacity - and now, after two and a half years, finally received the first encouraging results. Now we need to continue to collect data, and in a few years it will be possible to identify the source (s) of the neutrino least about neutrino detection of new picture will appear gradually, as in the photo with long exposure.

Scientific work with high-energy neutrinos first description published in the journal Science, 22 November 2013.



See also

New and interesting