IceCube Neutrino Detector To Receive $37 Million Worth Upgrades

The oldest riddles in astronomy and physics were unraveled one year ago by the Antarctic neutrino detector called IceCube. After discovering where cosmic rays and high-energy neutrinos come from, the National Science Foundation (NSF) decided it needs an upgrade.

IceCube’s scientific capabilities and the neutrino detector itself will get an expansion thanks to the $23 million in funding that the National Science Foundation (NSF) approved.

The 86 strings of optical modules that it has at the moment will become 93 and to the 5,160 sensors that are already embedded in the ice beneath the geographic South Pole will be added more than 700 new, enhanced optical modules. Unfortunately, IceCube will have to wait a while for its new toys, as the installation of the upgrade will take place during the 2022–23 polar season.

IceCube Neutrino Detector To Receive $37 Million Worth Upgrades

International partners from Germany and Japan and from the University of Wisconsin–Madison and Michigan State University will additionally support the neutrino detector’s improvement. In the end, IceCube will benefit from an upgrade worth a total of $37 million.

According to the director of the Wisconsin IceCube Particle Astrophysics Center, Kael Hanson, Standard Model of physics’ last unexplored corner are the neutrino particles. He explained that when asked about the best available scientific model that can explain subatomic particles’ behavior.

Furthermore, he said that the Standard Model couldn’t account for specific properties the neutrinos have. A UW–Madison professor of physics, Hanson, explains that the upgrade has the goal to expand the cubic-kilometer detector to allow the oscillation properties of neutrino particles to be adequately studied. This needs to be done because the neutrinos transit space can oscillate from type to type and even change aside from interacting with other particles.

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About the Author: Emmy Skylar

Emmy Skylar started working for Debate Report in 2017. Emmy grew up in a small town in northern Manitoba. But moved to Ontario for university. Before joining Debate Report, Emmy briefly worked as a freelance journalist for CBC News.  She covers politics and the economy.

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