Welcome to the IceCube
homepage at the
What is IceCube?
IceCube is a one-cubic-kilometer international high-energy neutrino observatory being built and installed in the clear deep ice below the South Pole Station. IceCube will, when completed in 2011, consist of 80 “strings” each with 60 optical modules which will detect light from neutrino interactions. As of Spring 2006 nine strings are deployed and operating.
IceCube will open unexplored bands for astronomy, including the PeV (1015 eV) energy region, where the Universe is opaque to high energy gamma rays originating from beyond the edge of our own galaxy, and where cosmic rays do not carry directional information because of their deflection by magnetic fields. The instrument may, for example, answer the question of whether the fascinating multi-TeV photons originating in the Crab supernova remnant and near the supermassive black holes of active galaxies are of hadronic or electromagnetic origin. IceCube will provide a totally novel viewpoint on the multi-messenger astronomy of gamma ray bursts, which have been identified as a possible source of the highest energy particles in nature.
IceCube also occupies a unique place in the multi-prong attack on the particle nature of dark matter, with unmatched sensitivity to cold dark matter particles approaching TeV masses. As a particle physics experiment with the capability to detect neutrinos with energies far beyond those produced at accelerators, IceCube will join the race to discover supersymmetric particles and the topological defects created in grand unified phase transitions in the early universe. The detection of cosmic neutrino beams would open the opportunity to study neutrino oscillations over Megaparsec baselines.
These exciting capabilities notwithstanding, there should be no doubt, that the true potential of IceCube is discovery. History has not previously disappointed us: the opening of each new astronomical window has led to unexpected discoveries. Hidden particle accelerators may, for instance, exist from which only the neutrinos escape.
The IceCube Design
IceCube at the South Pole
Drilling a 2.4km deep hole in the ice:
IceCube Optical Modules:
A Real IceCube Event
Our group is active in many areas of the experiment, including:
Links to local documentation Mirrors:
The IceCube Collaboration
The IceCube collaboration is comprised of research groups in physics and astronomy from universities and government labs around the world. The IceCube collaboration began with groups from the experiment AMANDA, which provided valuable scientific data, the proof of concept and the practice needed for scaling up to IceCube. Major U.S. funding for AMANDA and IceCube was provided by the National Science Foundation, while European funding was provided by government agencies in the participating countries. The Univeristy of Wisconsin provided start-up funding for both projects. The scientific need for IceCube and IceCube's promised performance have been successfully reviewed repeatedly at the highest U.S and international levels.
If you're interested in learning more about IceCube, you can learn more here.
Updated February 28, 2005 by