IceCube: neutrino astronomy in Antarctica

Written by: Stephen Hsu

Primary Source: Information Processing, 12/19/2018.

Tyce DeYoung (MSU Department of Physics and Astronomy) colloquium on high-energy astrophysics and exploration of the high-energy universe with the IceCube neutrino detector at the South Pole. Several MSU professors are part of the IceCube collaboration.

I predict very exciting developments in neutrino astronomy in the coming decade ;-)

The situation is similar to that for LIGO ~5 years ago. Events of significant scientific interest have already been seen with the detector at small (here small means instrumenting a cubic kilometer of ice!) fiducial volume. At a higher volume (10x or more scale up in anticipated upgrade), we therefore expect a robust new kind of astronomy to emerge, using a never before available probe of the universe — for IceCube, high energy neutrinos, and for LIGO, gravity waves. In both cases new insights into astrophysical black holes (and perhaps other very exotic objects) are likely to emerge.

Note the scale of the experiment in the image below — in units of Eiffel Towers :-)

Diagram of IceCube Experiment's scale

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Stephen Hsu
Stephen Hsu is vice president for Research and Graduate Studies at Michigan State University. He also serves as scientific adviser to BGI (formerly Beijing Genomics Institute) and as a member of its Cognitive Genomics Lab. Hsu’s primary work has been in applications of quantum field theory, particularly to problems in quantum chromodynamics, dark energy, black holes, entropy bounds, and particle physics beyond the standard model. He has also made contributions to genomics and bioinformatics, the theory of modern finance, and in encryption and information security. Founder of two Silicon Valley companies—SafeWeb, a pioneer in SSL VPN (Secure Sockets Layer Virtual Private Networks) appliances, which was acquired by Symantec in 2003, and Robot Genius Inc., which developed anti-malware technologies—Hsu has given invited research seminars and colloquia at leading research universities and laboratories around the world.