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NPAC (Nuclear/Particle/Astro/Cosmo) Forum
Ghosts in the ice - Searching for the Universe's most elusive particles at the South Pole
Date: Tuesday, February 14th
Time: 4:00 pm
Place: 4274 Chamberlin Hall
Speaker: Darren Grant, University of Alberta
Abstract: In one of the planet's most extreme environments, South Pole Station Antarctica, scientists have instrumented more than a cubic kilometer of ice to construct the world's largest neutrino detector to date: the IceCube Neutrino Observatory. Given its enormous size, IceCube is designed to detect the highest energy neutrinos predicted to be produced in the most violent astrophysical processes. The milestone deployment of the last of the observatory's 86 strings of optical detectors, in December 2010, included the completion of two noteworthy additions to the original design: a low-energy neutrino extension (DeepCore) and a prototype direct-detection dark matter detector (DM-Ice). These new detectors establish the first steps towards a precision particle astrophysics program in the Antarctic. The early results from this emerging and potentially game-changing program will be discussed. Also included will be the initial expectations of future detector upgrades in the ice towards large-scale direct detection dark matter searches and multi-megaton neutrino detectors with very low, O(10 MeV), energy thresholds.
Host: Halzen
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