Aurora Roth's Comps Talk
Join Aurora as she gives her comps talk on Antarctica.
Date: Friday, March 8th, 2013
Time: 3:30 pm
Duration: 1 hour
Location: Olin 141
Sponsored by: Physics and Astronomy
Contact: Trenne Fields, x4383Import into your calendar program
Ice Fishing for Neutrinos: The Physics of Neutrino Telescopes
Neutrinos are perhaps one of the most enigmatic fundamental particles that we know of. They have almost no mass and interact with almost nothing, yet they are everywhere. Right now there are trillions of neutrinos passing through your body. They are born from the sun, from supernovas, from the atmosphere, and from the Earth. Though they are everywhere, they are extremely difficult to detect and require some of the largest physics experiments on Earth to do so. Despite these difficulties, they are worth uncovering because they carry information about the high energy processes that formed them. Scientists have gone from the deepest caves, to the deep ocean, and to Antarctica in order to detect them and unravel their mystery. Using historical narrative, I will explore fundamental properties of neutrinos and how large detectors known as neutrino telescopes use neutrinos as tools to enhance our understanding of high-energy processes in space. I will focus specifically on the most advanced neutrino telescope, the IceCube South Pole Neutrino Observatory in Antarctica, and discuss the design and goals of the project, as well as question the responsibility that scientists have to this unique place.