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The telescope in the ice : inventing a new astronomy at the South Pole
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Library Journal Review
Bowen's (Thin Ice) marvelous tale of the development of a new kind of telescope that detects neutrinos, or subatomic particles that rarely interact with matter they pass through, tells how physicist Francis Halzen designed a telescope that pointed toward space, removing any false positive findings. Also discussed is AMANDA (Antarctic Muon And Neutrino Detector Array), a series of light detectors buried within a mile of ice at the geographic South Pole at IceCube Neutrino Observatory. As neutrinos pass through the Earth, they sometimes interact with the ice and create a charged particle that emits blue light. By tracking this light, observers can locate the neutrino and verify its existence. This book begins with an introduction of how AMANDA operates and the main players involved. Bowen then jumps back 20 years to the initial meetings for the development of AMANDA, the engineering it took to build, and the trials and failures of the entire project. -VERDICT Concluding with a helpful list of acronyms, this useful reference work belongs in any physics and astronomy collection.-Jason L. Steagall, Gateway Technical Coll. Lib., Elkhorn, WI © Copyright 2017. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly Review
Bowen, a physicist and writer, immerses readers deep in Antarctic ice as he offers a mesmerizing look at a development in cutting-edge astrophysics with which few people are familiar: the South Pole's IceCube Neutrino Observatory, the "weirdest" telescope in the world. Instead of gathering data from starlight, IceCube searches for neutrinos-electrically neutral, nearly massless particles that have fascinated and frustrated physicists since they were first proposed by Wolfgang Pauli in the 1930s. As Bowen explains, astrophysicists are interested in neutrinos because they come from places that regular telescopes never see: stellar interiors, supernovae, and the supermassive black holes at the center of galaxies. Bowen describes how IceCube hunts neutrinos with sensitive detectors sunk more than a mile deep in Antarctic ice. The detectors look "down" through the Earth, using it as a shield to block cosmic rays and in turn make evidence of neutrinos easier to identify in the ice. Bowen relates the story of IceCube with wry humor and enthusiasm, bringing to life the researchers, their rivalries, and their challenges, as well as the science. Infusing groundbreaking inquiry with the spirit of those who carry it out, Bowen delivers a tale that's part educational, part inspirational, and all adventure. (Nov.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Booklist Review
At the South Pole there is a large, expensive, and strange scientific instrument. Aptly named IceCube, it consists of holes drilled thousands of feet into the ice cap, down which have been lowered strings of optical sensors designed to detect what physicists call Cherenkov light, the result of a collision of a neutrino with an atomic nucleus, a rare event that can reveal a high-energy astrophysical source such as a supernova. Bowen (Censoring Science, 2008) recounts the IceCube's genesis, explaining that it must reside below Earth's surface to shield it from cosmic rays; details the construction of IceCube, which was completed in 2011; then brings readers to the U.S. base at the South Pole and its contemporary physicists and their quests. Sketching portraits of dozens of scientists and drillers involved in the project, Bowen integrates their specific investigative fields with individual and institutional assertions of scientific and financial control over the IceCube effort and the conflicts that ensued. Though challenging for casual readers, Bowen's insider's history of this remarkable device will reward those drawn to cutting-edge astrophysics.--Taylor, Gilbert Copyright 2017 Booklist
Located near the U. S. Amundsen-Scott Research Station at the geographic South Pole, IceCube is unlike most telescopes in that it is not designed to detect light. It employs a cubic kilometre of diamond-clear ice, more than a mile beneath the surface, to detect an elementary particle known as the neutrino. In 2010, it detected the first extraterrestrial high-energy neutrinos and thus gave birth to a new field of astronomy.IceCube is also the largest particle physics detector ever built. Its scientific goals span not only astrophysics and cosmology but also pure particle physics. And since the neutrino is one of the strangest and least understood of the known elementary particles, this is fertile ground. Neutrino physics is perhaps the most active field in particle physics today, and IceCube is at the forefront.The Telescope in the Ice is, ultimately, a book about people and the thrill of the chase: the struggle to understand the neutrino and the pioneers and inventors of neutrino astronomy.
Table of Contents
Introduction: Making Mistakesp. 1
Part 1The Birth and Youth of the Neutrino
1This Crazy Childp. 17
2Infancy and Youthp. 36
3From Poltergeist to Particlep. 50
Part IIThe Dream of Neutrino Astronomy
4Wisconsin-Style Physicsp. 67
5Peaceful Exploration by Interested Scientists Throughout the Worldp. 87
6Science at Its Bestp. 100
Part IIITouching the Mystery
7Solid-State DUMANDp. 121
8Enter Brucep. 140
9The Crossoverp. 163
10A Supernova of Sciencep. 175
11Doubling Downp. 192
12Glory Daysp. 204
13Night on the Icep. 217
14The First Nusp. 229
15The Peacock and Eva Eventsp. 245
16Y2K at Polep. 265
Part IVThe Real Thing
17Sometimes You Get What You Ask Forp. 279
18No New Startsp. 288
19The Coming of Yeckp. 305
20Failure and Successp. 315
21As Quickly as It All Began ...p. 329
22Crossing the Thresholdp. 347
Epilogue: The Dawn of Multi-Messenger Astronomyp. 368
Acknowledgmentsp. 376
Acronymsp. 379
Timelinep. 381
Notesp. 387
References and Bibliographyp. 401
Indexp. 416
Beta decayp. 44
Muon decayp. 45
The Markov or "plum pudding" designp. 71
The Greisen or "shell" designp. 74
Schematic of IceCubep. 342
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