Eighty-six holes over 1.5 miles deep were melted in the Antarctic icecap to create IceCube, a novel astronomical observatory. Into each hole was lowered a string knotted with basketball-sized light detectors that are sensitive to the shimmering blue light emitted in the surrounding clear ice when ghostly particles called neutrinos pass through the Earth. These neutrinos are cosmic messengers from the most violent processes in the universe, for example, giant black holes gobbling up stars in the heart of quasars and gamma-ray bursts, which are the biggest explosions since the Big Bang. This talk covers IceCube’s early results and its discovery of cosmic neutrinos.
All talks are free and refreshments will be served. Visitor parking for the seminars (Central Campus) is across the street from Weiser Hall (formerly the Dennison Building) in the U-M Church Street parking structure. There is a $2.00 parking charge implemented by U-M Parking Services. For more information regarding the Saturday Morning Physics series click here or call 734.764.4437.