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Ice Cube Neutrino Observatory At South Pole 78

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the steady-obserbbin' dept.
Scryer writes "Construction of the Ice Cube Neutrino Observatory was completed on 18 Dec at the South Pole. It's now the world's largest neutrino detector, with 5,160 optical sensors on 86 strings embedded two kilometers below the National Science Foundation's Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station. It has been gathering data since construction started, and will be fully operational after the last strings freeze in March 2011."
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Ice Cube Neutrino Observatory At South Pole

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  • by Jeremiah Cornelius (137) on Tuesday December 21, 2010 @04:40PM (#34633630) Homepage Journal

    First he was just an MC/Rapper...

    Then and Actor,

    Now? He's a scientific observatory!

    • Then and Actor,

      I think you are being more generous than when people said Schwarzenegger was an Actor.

      Which was a surprise to Arnie, because all throughout his 'acting career' people basically bashed him for not really acting, just having enough muscles to hold up big guns. Then he runs for Governor and everyone goes "Ha! An Actor running for California Governor!" - greatest compliment he ever received.

      • Re:TRIPLE THREAT! (Score:4, Interesting)

        by bluefoxlucid (723572) on Tuesday December 21, 2010 @04:53PM (#34633826) Journal
        Schwarzenegger had some real human life behind his acting. He played the part but he played as himself. He played the part of a lifeless robot pretty good. He played his part in Last Action Hero as a no-bullshit cop pretty good. He never portrayed his character over-dramatized, fluffed, and out of sync with the reality he was in; the character was fluid and fitting.
        • by MrEricSir (398214)

          He was great in this film.
          http://eeuauaughhhuauaahh.ytmnd.com/ [ytmnd.com]

        • by geekoid (135745)

          haha, no.

      • by Chris Burke (6130)

        Ice Cube was great in Boyz n the Hood, and nobody can ever take that away from him. Not even himself, despite trying with pretty much every acting role he's taken since.

        • by mobby_6kl (668092)

          Also he was good in Three Kings (awesome movie by the way, see it). He was so good in fact, the thought "oh look there's a rapper in my movie" never came up while watching it.

      • Then and Actor,

        I think you are being more generous than when people said Schwarzenegger was an Actor.

        Which was a surprise to Arnie, because all throughout his 'acting career' people basically bashed him for not really acting, just having enough muscles to hold up big guns. Then he runs for Governor and everyone goes "Ha! An Actor running for California Governor!" - greatest compliment he ever received.

        The same went for Ronald Reagan -- bad actor to worse governor. I won't speak of his tenure as President.

    • by jtrainmf (1819364)

      I guess F*** the police, Friday, and Barbershop helped pay for his scientific observatory transformation.

    • by PatPending (953482) on Tuesday December 21, 2010 @04:48PM (#34633752)
      Ice Cube will also serve double duty by studying Black Hos
    • by mangu (126918) on Tuesday December 21, 2010 @04:51PM (#34633792)

      There was a time when project names were chosen to be cute acronyms. I work with digital signal processing where there are algorithms named MUSIC, for "MUltiple SIgnal Classification", and ESPRIT, for "Estimation of Signal Parameters via Rotational Invariance Techniques".

      Today it's better to have Google-friendly names, i.e. names that are unique. Every time when I start a new project name now I first google the name, if it gets any results I change the name. This is priceless for little-known projects, because any extra words you have to add to a search limit the results you get.

      In the two examples I cited above, adding the word "algorithm" will return what you want, but how many pages are there in the web that mention MUSIC and ESPRIT without the word "algorithm"? Those pages are lost in the Google noise.

      • by corbettw (214229)

        What are you talking about? ICNOASP is a cool acronym. See, it means "I see no asp". 'Cause there are no snakes in Antarctica. Get it?

      • There was a time when project names were chosen to be cute acronyms. I work with digital signal processing where there are algorithms named MUSIC, for "MUltiple SIgnal Classification", and ESPRIT, for "Estimation of Signal Parameters via Rotational Invariance Techniques".

        That hasn't really changed, how about: Antarctic Muon And Neutrino Detector Array - AMANDA?

        That's what IceCube was formely known as, or rather, the IceCube array is an extension of the original AMANDA detector array.

      • by sconeu (64226)

        I thought MUSIC was the McGill University System for Interactive Computing.

        Anyone else remember that system?

      • by tehcyder (746570)
        People who enjoy "cute acronyms" are the sort of people you run away from at parties before they bore you to death by reciting whole Monty Python sketches.
    • by Dachannien (617929) on Tuesday December 21, 2010 @05:02PM (#34633976)

      I'm just waiting for Xzibit to Pimp My Particle Accelerator.

    • Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony.. . Now Nobel?

      DAAAMN SON!!!

    • I'm surprised they didn't put it in Compton.

  • And they're hiring. (Score:4, Informative)

    by blair1q (305137) on Tuesday December 21, 2010 @04:49PM (#34633764) Journal

    Want to spend a winter in Antarctica as the BOFH for a scientific supercomputer watching for neutrinos in a 2-km^3 ice cube?

    Recruitment for the 2011-2012 season will begin in early 2011 [wisc.edu]

  • Wrong Link (Score:5, Informative)

    by icebike (68054) on Tuesday December 21, 2010 @04:49PM (#34633774)

    The actual story is here
    http://www.physorg.com/news/2010-12-icecube-world-largest-neutrino-observatory.html [physorg.com]

    The key bits is this (should have been in the summary):

    Under construction since 2004, IceCube encloses a cubic kilometer of clear ice, beginning one and a half kilometers beneath the surface and extending downward another kilometer. The telescope has to be this big because neutrino collisions with matter are exceedingly rare: out of uncounted trillions of neutrinos constantly passing through the ice, IceCube will observe just a few hundred a day.

    Seeing them at all is only possible because when neutrinos collide with the nuclei of oxygen atoms in the ice, they turn into energetic charged particles called muons, moving in the same direction. Because these muons (and other debris from the collision) are moving faster than light can travel through ice, they radiate a shock wave of blue Cherenkov radiation visible to IceCube’s photodetectors.

    • by Dripdry (1062282)
      So what you're saying is that they've constructed a huge sparkly object underground? Did Barbara Streisand help fund this, by any chance?
    • How is the official home page of the observatory [wisc.edu], which includes that story and more in the "News" column right smack-dab in the middle of the home page the "wrong link"?

      Sure, maybe the summary could have included more information, or a link to a summarizing news story, but linking to the observatory's official presence on the internet is hardly the "wrong link".

      • by icebike (68054)

        They linked to a page which had a link to the actual story.

        How many levels of indirection are you prepared to accept?

        • The linked text was "Ice Cube Neutrino Observatory". The text linked to the official page of the observatory. The summary is about the observatory being complete. No indirection here.

          Nothing implied that the link should be to an article. You assume that they "should" have linked to a news article, instead of the observatory itself. There is no such requirement of slashdot summaries, either implicit or explicit, and there is plenty of information about IceCube on the IceCube site [wisc.edu]. If the linked text implied

          • by Chris Burke (6130)

            Nothing implied that the link should be to an article. You assume that they "should" have linked to a news article, instead of the observatory itself. There is no such requirement of slashdot summaries, either implicit or explicit, and there is plenty of information about IceCube on the IceCube site [wisc.edu]. If the linked text implied that there was a news article behind it, you would have a point.

            Er, maybe there's no requirement as such.

            But it does make a rather large amount of sense to have a link to a

            • by Scryer (60692)

              There are lots of news stories about the completion of the neutrino observatory. I could have linked any of them, but I preferred to go to the source of the information rather than filtering it through a reporter -- especially when the source has perfectly accessible text that doesn't need a scientist to explain for us. If you want to see many news articles about it, Google News [slashdot.org] will find them quickly.

              That was my first try at a submission -- next time I'll put more in the summary.

              • by Chris Burke (6130)

                I preferred to go to the source of the information rather than filtering it through a reporter -- especially when the source has perfectly accessible text that doesn't need a scientist to explain for us.

                You should link directly to said text [wisc.edu] then. :)

                If you want to see many news articles about it, Google News [slashdot.org] will find them quickly.

                True, but you could say the same about the main Ice Cube project page.

                That was my first try at a submission -- next time I'll put more in the summary.

                It was fine, it

              • Please do submit again. A thick skin is sometimes needed at first, but you'll get the customs down soon enough, and a high-quality submission like yours is always appreciated.

    • Re:Wrong Link (Score:5, Informative)

      by Chris Burke (6130) on Tuesday December 21, 2010 @05:49PM (#34634684) Homepage

      I think one of the neatest things about Ice Cube is that it is essentially using the entire freaking planet earth as a filter for muon sources other than neutrino interactions. It can detect what direction a source of Cherenkov radiation came from, and if it came from the direction of the sky then it's vastly more likely to have been caused by some other form of cosmic ray and neutrino interactions would be completely lost in the noise. Neutrinos can pass through the whole planet with ease, though, so by subtracting out the sky-originating muons, they are left with the probable neutrinos.

      In fact I remember a Slashdot article from a while back where they took the data that they usually subtract out as non-neutrino noise and analyzed it, and were able to make some interesting discoveries about cosmic rays. Oh hey, found the article: http://www.physorg.com/news199468476.html [physorg.com]

    • by Anonymous Coward

      A clarification: when a high-energy neutrino interacts to produce a muon, that muon can travel for several kilometres through rock/ice before it decays. So a neutrino could interact to produce a muon in the bedrock below the Antarctic icecap, and the muon could still travel up into the ice and be observed by IceCube.

      (I don't work on IceCube, but I do work on neutrino physics.)

    • Saddest part is I had to wade through dozens of half assed smartasses and bullshit replies about actors to get to the interesting technical information.
  • Someone submit this NSF project to YouCut!
  • That's certainly a new turn on a familiar development phrase.

    Cheers,

  • (obligatory)

    I think we're talking about an organism... that could imitate other life forms... perfectly... It could have gone on and on... It could have become one dog... It could have become as many dogs as it wanted to -- and without losing any of its original mass...

  • by bojangler (1851778) on Tuesday December 21, 2010 @05:42PM (#34634588)
    F*** the Pole-Ice comin' straight from the underground
    • ...A young scientist got it bad cause they're massless - They have the authority to construct a neutrino observatory - F*** that shit cause I ain't the one - To detect a neutrino coming out of the sun...
    • Young neutrino got it bad 'cause I spin the other way around.
  • What the hell are they thinking spending 6 years building an ice cube station at the South Pole?! There's ice everywhere already! Cripes, you'd need a water heater just to get the water to the ice machine! It's not like there's much of a customer base down there either...
  • Those neutrinos are totally rad dudes!!!
  • by richard tarantula (1464545) on Tuesday December 21, 2010 @06:13PM (#34634976)

    Oh, I'm afraid the Observatory will be quite operational when your neutrino friends arrive

    • Oh, I'm afraid the Observatory will be quite operational when your neutrino friends arrive

      Yes.... I feel it. Give in to your dark matter.

  • ...that December 18th was, indeed, a good day.
  • If anyone's interested in, you know, the science and all that, plus the extraordinary work they've done reverse-mining fragile and expensive glass spheres in extremely cold conditions, you could do worse than check out Anil Ananthaswamy's The Edge Of Physics. There's lots of other cool stuff too, my review here. [blogspot.com]
  • Much better than the usual snarky blog referencing an error-filled news article.

  • Neutrinos better check themselves before they wreck themselves!
  • will be fully operational after the last strings freeze in March 2011

    Translation efforts are under way. It is expected that a Chinese version of the project will be available soon after President Hu visits the facility in late 2011.

Never try to teach a pig to sing. It wastes your time and annoys the pig. -- Lazarus Long, "Time Enough for Love"

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