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A Telescope In a Cubic Kilometer of Ice

timothy posted more than 5 years ago | from the from-the-research-group-that-brought-you-donvier dept.

Space 118

Roland Piquepaille writes "University of Delaware (UD) scientists and engineers are currently working at the South Pole under very harsh conditions. This research team is one of the many other ones working on the construction of IceCube, the world's largest neutrino telescope in the Antarctic ice, far beneath the continent's snow-covered surface. When it is completed in 2011, the telescope array will occupy a cubic kilometer of Antarctica. One of the lead researchers said that 'IceCube will provide new information about some of the most violent and far-away astrophysical events in the cosmos.' The UD team has even opened a blog to cover this expedition. It will be opened up to December 22, 2008. I guess they want to be back in Delaware for Christmas, but read more for additional details and references, including a diagram of this telescope array built inside ice."

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Does not look promising (5, Funny)

pwnies (1034518) | more than 5 years ago | (#26067261)

I gotta say, just based on personal experience here, that the outlook for this project doesn't look good. The last underground science facility I worked at over in Raccoon City just didn't work out in the long run.

Re:Does not look promising (4, Funny)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 5 years ago | (#26067483)

Dangerous things found in Antarctica:
'The Thing' (Kurt Russel in a Cowboy hat!)
The Borg from Star Trek
Aliens v Predator
Vicious Penguins

Re:Does not look promising (1)

ShaunC (203807) | more than 5 years ago | (#26067521)

You forgot:

no sexual harrassment in the antarctic? (1)

Xaoswolf (524554) | more than 5 years ago | (#26071775)

your link mentions naked ladies, a sauna, and sub zero temperatures... How exactly does one get a job in one of these research facilities?

Re:Does not look promising (1, Informative)

Kozar_The_Malignant (738483) | more than 5 years ago | (#26067645)

You also forgot:
  • Blind, six-foot penguins
  • Shoggoths

Re:Does not look promising (2, Funny)

Nazlfrag (1035012) | more than 5 years ago | (#26068405)

Nobody cares about the Secret Nazi UFO bases anymore :!(

Re:Does not look promising (1)

rally2xs (1093023) | more than 5 years ago | (#26071979)

And they're just as likely to run onto that Aliens vs. Predators playground there, too.

Re:Does not look promising (1)

shutdown -p now (807394) | more than 5 years ago | (#26073839)

Well, who do you think is behind all the nasty stuff that GP listed, eh??

Re:Does not look promising (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26068737)

And the Elder Things

Re:Does not look promising (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26073957)

A spare Stargate too.....

Re:Does not look promising (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26068961)

But you also get an ancient outpost with a drone chair.

Re:Does not look promising (1)

dangitman (862676) | more than 5 years ago | (#26070557)

Bobo.

Re:Does not look promising (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26070999)

Don't worry, by 2011 global warming will have melted the facility anyway...

Re:Does not look promising (1)

PDX (412820) | more than 5 years ago | (#26071299)

Help I'm melting...!

Re:Does not look promising (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26073033)

..

kryptonite

The Hardest Part (4, Funny)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 5 years ago | (#26067611)

Is getting the purchase order for a cubic kilometer of gin through the purchasing system.

Re:Does not look promising (5, Funny)

A. B3ttik (1344591) | more than 5 years ago | (#26067617)

Really? The underground science facility I work at over at Black Mesa is more productive than ever. In fact, we're boosting the antimass spectrometer to 105% for a big test tomorrow.

Re:Does not look promising (2, Funny)

MadUndergrad (950779) | more than 5 years ago | (#26072565)

You Black Mesa hotshots get all the fat government contracts. Just you wait til we get GLaDOS out of beta (although, it's been in beta so long you'd think we were Google).

Re:Does not look promising (1)

McWilde (643703) | more than 5 years ago | (#26072753)

Huh? I heard you were out of beta and would be releasing on time...

That was a joke - haha - fat chance.

Nutrinoes! (2, Funny)

Jonah Bomber (535788) | more than 5 years ago | (#26067293)

Who doesn't love 'em!

You're gonna want ice after practicing THIS: (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26067323)

I buy my saline kits from Chase Union Ltd in Movi, Michigan. The cost of a 1000 cc bag of sterile saline, drip tubing, sterile wipes (to wipe down your sac and all around) and catheter needle is with shipping around $25.
You can call them at +01 (248) 348-8191 and ask for item "MF 100" a scrotal inflation kit.

To do the saline, take the bag of saline and put in a microwave for about 5.5 minutes at low heat to warm to a bit above body temperature;about 100 degrees or so. Unwrap the outer plastic packaging and put the saline bag aside. Unwrap the drip tubing which comes with the kit and move the clamping system down toward the end opposite the vial type thing and CLOSE IT SHUT. Take the larger end of the drip tubing and uncap the protective cap........open the warmed bag of saline and remove the clear cap. Insert the drip tubing nozzle into the saline bag opening. Find a curtain rod, pot rack (which i have and use in the kitchen) shower rod or something elevated above you. Hang the bag of saline with the tubing attached and shut off. THEN VERY IMPORTANT. SQUEEZE SOME OF THE SALINE INTO THE VIAL ABOUT HALF WAY -THEN OPEN THE CLAMPING DEVICE AND BLEED ALL AIR OUT OF THE TUBING. YEAH YOU LOOSE A LITTLE BIT OF SALINE BUT THIS IS A MUST. YOU DON'T WANT ANY AIR OR AIR BUBBLES IN THE DRIP TUBING! REPLACE THE CAP ON THE WORKING END OF THE TUBING.

Before hand, while the bag of saline is warming either take a hot shower, or fill a basin or kitchen sink with very warm water sit in it for 4-7 minutes. The idea is to warm your ballsac skin up and let it get loose and hang.

When you have finished warming your sac, and you have the bag of saline (BLED FROM AIR), you are ready to grow.

With your sac still very warm use the wipes provided with the kit to wipe down your cock and ballsac. By the way, you will want an adjustable leather cock ring , nylon rope, or other type of removable cock/ball ring to wrap around cock and ballsac after inserting the catheter needle.

With you sac still warm and wiped down with antiseptics, sit in a chair with a towel underneath. Open the catheter needle don't get pansy here but with one hand, take the catheter needle and the teflon sheath that covers it and WITH THE OTHER HAND TAKE YOUR BALLSAC MOVING YOUR COCK OUT OF THE WAY AND DECIDE ON THE LOCATION OF THE INTENDED CATHETER NEEDLE. YOU NEED TO FOCUS ON THE AREA EITHER TO THE LEFT OR RIGHT SIDE OF YOUR BALLSAC AND UP CLOSE TO WHERE THE COCK CONNECTS. YOU PLACE THE CATHETER NEEDLE RIGHT BELOW THE COCK OR A LITTLE LOWER BUT TO ONE SIDE OR THE OTHER OF THE DARKER SKIN DIVIDING SKIN WHICH IS IN THE MIDDLE OF YOUR SAC.

DON'T GET SQUEEMISH BECAUSE THIS DOES NOT HURT. BUT INSERT THE CATHETER STRAIGHT DOWN CAUTIOUSLY INTO YOUR SAC. MOVE YOUR TESTICLE ASIDE YOU ARE GOING TO GO INTO THE BALLSAC CAVITY NOT THE TESTICLE.

YOU WILL EXPERIENCE A PRICK SENSATION,THEN A POP SENSATION AS THE CATHETER NEEDLE PIERCES THE MUSCLE TISSUE OF THE SCROTUM.

KEEP PUSHING THE CATHETER NEEDLE IN. IF IT GOES IN AND YOU FEEL FROM THE OTHER/OPPOSITE SIDE OF YOUR BALLSAC THAT THE NEEDLE IS THERE, THEN STOP.

Pull out the needle itself leaving the teflon sheath inserted into you sac. Tie yourself (cock and balls) off with some sort of removable cock ring or rope or robe tie or whatever.

Sit down, don' t plan to move around too much for the next 30 minutes - hour. Have your beers/soft drinks or whatever already out of the fridge. You will want to stay idle and focused while you do this.

While sitting, and close to the hanging bag of saline and the drip tubing, remove the protective cover of the end of the drip tubing, connect the drip tubing to the catheter sheath in you sac. THEN START ADJUSTING THE CLAMPING DEVICE OPEN TO ALLOW SALINE DRIPPING TO APPEAR IN THE VIAL UP BY THE BAG OF SALINE. ADJUST FOR AN EVEN DRIP DRIP DRIP FLOW AND NOT A STEADY STREAM OF SALINE.

If the saline doesn't drip at first, try pulling the catheter sheath out a bit until you at first experience a small burning sensation;it goes away almost immediately.
Work on the sheath depth and the clamp until you get a good flow of saline going into your sac.

Don't move around too much......or be cognizant of how much you move around while the saline drips into and starts to bloat out your sac. You can always shut off the flow of saline with the clamp, disconnect and move around take a p, whatever......
If you disconnect, take the small stopper thing that is still attached to the needle and plug the teflon sheath to prevent leakage.

I like to use liquid vitamin E on my sac while it stretching and expanding;you should / can put oil or handcream on your sac while it is expanding. The sac is very stretchable but to expand up to 18-20 inches within an hour or so stresses the tissues,so things need to be lubricated somewhat..

GO SLOWLY.DON'T TRY TO REACH A MAX THE FIRST TIME. GO WITH WHAT YOUR BODY/SAC IS FEELING THEN STOP.

When you have finished doing the amount of saline you want to, feel comfortable with, can accept, close off the saline bag with the clamp, and disconnect.

Over filling/stress of the sac can cause osmosis leaking/sweating.. Do an amount of saline at first that is comfortable and not stressfull/hurting by all means. I have over done before and.you don't want to walk around with your sac dripping water out of it.and the after results cause chapping etc which takes a few days to peel and recover from.

Some of the saline is going to migrate into your cock. Your cock girth is going to become much larger than you have ever experienced.

AFTER YOU DISCONNECT FROM THE SALINE BAG, SIT AND WITH "SUPER GLUE", YES SUPER GLUE ON HAND, WITHDRAW THE CATHETER SHEATH.
AND WITH A TOWEL, PLACE SOME PRESSURE OVER THE HOLE THE NEEDLE CREATED......YOU MAY HAVE SOME BLOOD OR BLOOD MIXED WITH SALINE TRYING TO EXIT YOUR SAC! THEREFORE THE TOWELS

DON'T WORRY KEEP PRESSURE OVER AND DOWN ONTO THE HOLE FOR A COUPLE OF MINUTES TO LET THINGS REST AND ANY BLOOD COAGULATE.

REMOVE THE "PRESSURE" TOWEL AND WITH SUPER GLUE, PLACE A FEW DROPS ON THE HOLE TO HOPEFULLY SEAL IT UP QUICKLY. KEEP THE COCK RING OR EQUIVALENT ON DURING THIS AND CONTINE TO LUBE YOUR SAC.

IF ALL IS GOING VERY WELL, IN A COUPLE OF MINUTES, YOUR SAC AND THE HOLE IS SEALED AND YOU ARE DONE.

IF ALL THINGS ARE NOT GOING WELL, YOU MIGHT NOT GET A GOOD SEAL THE FIRST TIME JUST PEAL OFF THE SUPER GLUE RESIDUE AND START OVER.

At first your sac will be very tight,but over the next few hours or over night, keeping the cock ring on less tightly or without a cock ring your sac will relax and begin to stretch.

The saline will take a couple of days or more to absorb into you body. That is okay,Saline is sterile water adjusted to normal body PH.

Enjoy it, flaunt it if you are inclined, watch the perm stretch and sac tissue growth that happens over time.

You will need to p a little more often than regular as the saline absorbs into your body, but just enjoy the weight and feel of what is between your legs.

I hope this helps....If your nuts and sac are normally pretty big or even small and you want more, this will blow you away with the results.

Take care

Re:You're gonna want ice after practicing THIS: (2, Funny)

xonar (1069832) | more than 5 years ago | (#26069533)

Oh My God

Wait...

Oh my god...

*holds self*

Is it on the West Side of Antarctica? (-1, Offtopic)

mamono (706685) | more than 5 years ago | (#26067395)

WESTSIDE!!!

South central actually... (4, Funny)

MRe_nl (306212) | more than 5 years ago | (#26067583)

Neutrino's with Attitude!

Re:South central actually... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26067885)

Neutrinotude

Re:South central actually... (1)

LifesABeach (234436) | more than 5 years ago | (#26068651)

What happens if the event that the telescope can observe is coming from the relative northern direction? Maybe we should build one in the Arctic?

Re:South central actually... (3, Interesting)

Ambitwistor (1041236) | more than 5 years ago | (#26069561)

IceCube is designed to detect neutrino events only from the northern hemisphere. Neutrinos from the sky in the southern hemisphere get confused with other atmospheric muons events. So they screen out all events coming from above, and only look at those coming from below, i.e. from the north. Neutrinos have no problem passing through the Earth, but all other particles do, so they know that events from below come from neutrinos.

Still, you can rephrase the question: why don't they build a detector in the Arctic to look for southern events? The only place there's that much land ice is Greenland. There isn't much infrastructure there. There is some already at the South Pole. I suspect that's the reason. But if IceCube proves successful, maybe they'll think about a Greenland version.

Re:South central actually... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26070815)

Still, you can rephrase the question: why don't they build a detector in the Arctic to look for southern events? The only place there's that much land ice is Greenland. There isn't much infrastructure there. There is some already at the South Pole. I suspect that's the reason. But if IceCube proves successful, maybe they'll think about a Greenland version.

It may also be related to the purity of the ice, and the fact that more telescopes are available in the northern hemisphere. The latter can coordinate
`standard' light observations, with those exciting neutrino detections.

Re:South central actually... (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26070839)

Actually, there's a similar experiment called ANTARES [wikipedia.org] in the northern hemisphere. Instead of drilling their detector array into the ice, they suspend it in seawater, in the Mediterranean. There are disadvantages to this ... but I guess it worked out to be easier than building one in Greenland.

Incidentally, I'm part of a (small, speculative) project trying to get an even larger detection volume by using the Moon as a neutrino detector[1]. We're not really competing with IceCube or AMANDA, though - we're looking for rarer, higher-energy neutrinos than they are.

[1] Details, if you're interested: a neutrino interacts somewhere near the surface of the moon, and produces a particle shower. That shower emits Cherenkov radiation, some of which takes the form of radio waves, which penetrate to the surface, and may be detected on Earth. The current generation of radio telescopes isn't really sensitive enough for it to work, but the next generation should be. The project name is 'Lunaska'.

Re:South central actually... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26071855)

Neutrino's with

"Neutrinos".

Bullcrap! (5, Funny)

cashman73 (855518) | more than 5 years ago | (#26067405)

Yeah, it's a telescope alright! Ha! Ha! I got $500 that says they found a second Stargate down there!

Re:Bullcrap! (0)

philspear (1142299) | more than 5 years ago | (#26067639)

Fools! Don't they know it will just interfere with the first stargate?!?

Er... I mean... starwhat now? Nonsense, we don't have a stargate, and we don't send Macgyver to other planets through it!

Re:Bullcrap! (2, Funny)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#26068387)

Not since he let himself go anyway.

Christmas massacre (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26067429)

To be fair, the British members of the team probably don't want to be in Delaware for Christmas. Americans have a history of massacring the British on Christmas in Delaware.

Re:Christmas massacre (1)

Aardpig (622459) | more than 5 years ago | (#26077643)

Add to that the fact that the Xmas parties in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at UDel are known to suck. Big time.

Cool! (1, Funny)

syngularyx (1070768) | more than 5 years ago | (#26067497)

This is exactly what I mean by a really cool thing!

Does Ice Cube approve (3, Funny)

line-bundle (235965) | more than 5 years ago | (#26067565)

Definitely Ice Cube http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ice_Cube [wikipedia.org] won't like it.

Perhaps time to call in the RIAA and fix this.

Re:Does Ice Cube approve (2, Funny)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 5 years ago | (#26068867)

Ooh, the temptation to alter the wiki pages to say Ice Cube is the spokesperson for the neutrino detector is huge... Must... resist... Vandalism... bad...

Ice...for now. (3, Funny)

MMC Monster (602931) | more than 5 years ago | (#26067613)

By the time it is finished, it will be in a cubic kilometer of water.

Re:Ice...for now. (1, Troll)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 5 years ago | (#26067747)

I bet in 2015 environmentalists will blame global warming for the extintion of the last ice telescope in the wild.

Re:Ice...for now. (1)

darkpixel2k (623900) | more than 5 years ago | (#26070225)

I bet in 2015 environmentalists will blame global warming for the extintion of the last ice telescope in the wild.

My first thought when reading the story is "Where the f*ck are all the environmentalists?"

It's apparently ok to screw around with a cubic kilometer of ice and wildlife for a telescope, but it's not ok to take up 0.2 kilometers for an oil rig...and notice I didn't say 'square'.

Re:Ice...for now. (2, Funny)

dangitman (862676) | more than 5 years ago | (#26070569)

"Where the f*ck are all the environmentalists?"

On ice.

Re:Ice...for now. (1)

Ambitwistor (1041236) | more than 5 years ago | (#26070905)

Environmentalists don't really complain about the idea of building one oil rig. Of those who are against, say, ANWR drilling, they mostly complain about building many oil rigs, and all the road and pipeline infrastructure needed to support them. Also, there isn't really any wildlife at the South Pole, other than assorted gnats.

Re:Ice...for now. (1)

darkpixel2k (623900) | more than 5 years ago | (#26071487)

Environmentalists don't really complain about the idea of building one oil rig. Of those who are against, say, ANWR drilling, they mostly complain about building many oil rigs, and all the road and pipeline infrastructure needed to support them. Also, there isn't really any wildlife at the South Pole, other than assorted gnats.

The size of land they are talking about using in the ANWR has been compared to a postage stamp on a football field.

No matter what we do, wherever we do it, there will be an impact to the environment, or some species. But we can't stop everything we do because it will effect a frog, or herd of caribou or whatever. On the other hand, we can't be totally irresponsible either.

Re:Ice...for now. (1)

Ambitwistor (1041236) | more than 5 years ago | (#26073865)

The size of land they are talking about using in the ANWR has been compared to a postage stamp on a football field.

I am sure it has been compared to that, but is it a correct comparison? I don't know. The right number is "ecological impact", not "land surface area", but it's probably hard to quantify. From a surface area perspective, it should include not only the area taken up by the drilling apparatus, but also by support buildings, roads, pipelines, etc. From a non-areal perspective, it needs to account for the ecosystems affected, including any rare species, distant populations whose migratory pathways may be interrupted by development activity, the effects of any secondary pollution, etc. The EPA does this kind of total system analysis, but I haven't read any of their studies on ANWR.

No matter what we do, wherever we do it, there will be an impact to the environment, or some species. But we can't stop everything we do because it will effect a frog, or herd of caribou or whatever. On the other hand, we can't be totally irresponsible either.

That's true.

You also have to weigh it against the benefit of the action. Drilling in ANWR would make money for oil companies, but the consumer isn't going to see any of that oil within the next decade or two, and it's not going to appreciably affect the price of gas at the pump or reduce dependence on foreign oil. The benefits of ANWR drilling to society as a whole seem somewhat dubious to me. There are very few truly unspoiled wildlife refuges left in the U.S. Is it worth it to develop part of one for limited benefits? That's unclear to me. Of course, the drilling doesn't affect the whole area, but it's yet another encroachment on one of the few remaining protected areas. Of course, drilling does provide more oil and lower prices, but in the grand scheme not much.

Re:Ice...for now. (1)

darkpixel2k (623900) | more than 5 years ago | (#26075759)

Drilling in ANWR would make money for oil companies, but the consumer isn't going to see any of that oil within the next decade or two

First off, you make it sound like oil companies earning money is wrong. I don't know about you, but when I start a business, I expect to make money. No one starts a business to lose money.

Second, Shell is saying the time from start to pumping oil would be less than 6 months. That oil would be on the market in less than a year.

There are very few truly unspoiled wildlife refuges left in the U.S. Is it worth it to develop part of one for limited benefits? That's unclear to me. Of course, the drilling doesn't affect the whole area, but it's yet another encroachment on one of the few remaining protected areas

That's true. Personally, I'm all against the federal government setting aside any land for any purpose that isn't in the constitution. Now if the states set it aside, I'd be more comfortable with it. But regardless, I don't want to just bulldoze the grand canyon flat, or level the ANWR either.

Of course, drilling does provide more oil and lower prices, but in the grand scheme not much.

I'm just glad the prices are back down. During the peak, it was costing me about $45/week to fill up my car. Now I'm back down to what it cost about 10 years ago $21 a week. I think simply the threat of us drilling scared the Saudi markets into lowering their prices.

Re:Ice...for now. (1)

Ambitwistor (1041236) | more than 5 years ago | (#26077185)

First off, you make it sound like oil companies earning money is wrong. I don't know about you, but when I start a business, I expect to make money. No one starts a business to lose money.

I'm not saying oil companies earning money is wrong. I'm saying that I don't really care if THEY benefit from the oil. I care if society benefits, and if I benefit. If it makes oil companies richer but not me or the average citizen, then that changes my opinion of the value of the activity. So I have to ask, is the change in oil price that the consumer sees (e.g., in gas prices) worth the drawbacks of the activity? I'm sure if I was an oil executive whose salary depends on oil profits, my cost-benefit analysis would run rather differently.

Second, Shell is saying the time from start to pumping oil would be less than 6 months. That oil would be on the market in less than a year.

That disagrees with the studies I've read (e.g., from the DOE), which indicate a decade or so before you see serious market penetration, and the effect on the global price of oil won't amount to much more than tens of cents on a gallon of gas at best lasting maybe 20 years. Maybe more than that right at first, since there's usually a jump due to speculation, then less than that, and perhaps a rise again at the end as it runs out. The oil companies are not hurting for oil right now; they're already sitting on substantial reserves. I'm sure oil companies could rush some of that oil to market to claim that it's making a difference to supply and prices, but the time until it actually makes a difference is maybe rather longer. Also, since it is a global market, it could be the case that OPEC will just release some of their reserves and neutralize the price drop.

I'm just glad the prices are back down.

Well, it's nice for my wallet, but I personally would like them to be higher, because I think we need to be reducing fossil fuel consumption, and a price signal is the best way to induce demand destruction. We already saw some of that happen with the recent gas crunch. I'm willing to pay a risk premium.

I think simply the threat of us drilling scared the Saudi markets into lowering their prices.

Probably true, but also probably a transient response.

Re:Ice...for now. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26079905)

I think simply the threat of us drilling scared the Saudi markets into lowering their prices.

Then you're not admitting the much more acceptable alternatives of a reduction in speculation due to a credit crunch and a fall in demand due to the recession. The ANWR drilling wouldn't be a speck on OPEC's production.

Re:Ice...for now. (1)

StarkRG (888216) | more than 5 years ago | (#26071599)

Um, so oil rigs are 0.2 kilometers long and have no width?

And the difference here is impact, very little actually lives IN the ice, so as long as you don't impact the surface or the base of the ice you won't be harming anyone.

Also, if somehow it exploded all we'd get are shards of ice and pools of water not gigantic oil spills...

I'm not saying you're wrong*, just that your arguments are.

*though, incidentally, you are.

Re:Ice...for now. (1)

darkpixel2k (623900) | more than 5 years ago | (#26075647)

Um, so oil rigs are 0.2 kilometers long and have no width?

I have no clue how big oil rigs are--but I'm betting they aren't 1 sq. kilometer. And about 10 seconds after I posted that, I realized my mistake--for some stupid reason, I was thinking the telescope measurements were cubed, not squared. Totally retarded.

Also, if somehow it exploded all we'd get are shards of ice and pools of water not gigantic oil spills...

I don't think you should drive a car. If it suddenly exploded while you were driving, it could impact local wildlife...

The point I'm trying to make is this--do you know how many oil rigs 'suddenly explode'? And the argument that we shouldn't construct one because it *might* have a problem someday is pretty lame.

I'm not saying you're wrong*, just that your arguments are.

*though, incidentally, you are.

I'll totally admit I screwed up my size argument--but as for my original argument that a telescope and an oil rig are both going to impact the environment, yet the environmentalists aren't bitching about a telescope--well, feel free to prove me wrong instead of just making foot notes*

*because arguments are resolved by showing facts, not by snide footnotes.

Re:Ice...for now. (2, Informative)

textstring (924171) | more than 5 years ago | (#26070369)

You surely mean 0.92km^3 of water, don't you?

Big Science (1, Insightful)

QuantumG (50515) | more than 5 years ago | (#26067623)

I know I'm ignorant, but I just don't understand how physicists managed to get from the Manhattan project to here. Yes, the Manhattan project showed that if you put great minds together they can achieve great things.. but that was in war time.. and for weapons development. How did the lab coats manage to convince the bean counters that the same thing was possible in peace time.. and for pure science no less? And how come it's always physics physics physics? And mostly, telescopes? If someone goes to the NSF and asks for billions to build a really big computer to do AI research on, the NSF tells them to go talk to IBM. Where's the IBM of telescopes? Even when it comes to rockets the big contractors are not expected to wear the cost of development (cost-plus contracts being an abomination, but at least it gets shit done), but if you wanna do basic science in compsci on decent hardware, you have to go work for a corp research lab.

Re:Big Science (5, Insightful)

Ambitwistor (1041236) | more than 5 years ago | (#26067687)

And how come it's always physics physics physics?

That's the science where you have to build the biggest equipment, because big equipment is needed to study the extremely small or the extremely large (particle physics and astronomy).

Biomedicine/genomics is slowly starting to encroach on physics in terms of Big Science. But there is also tons of science which is not Big Science.

And mostly, telescopes?

Telescopes and particle accelerators. See above.

If someone goes to the NSF and asks for billions to build a really big computer to do AI research on, the NSF tells them to go talk to IBM.

The NSF mostly funds science (national Science foundation). Computer science doesn't get as much of a priority with them, since it's more mathematics/engineering.

Also, with a billion-dollar particle accelerator, people are likely to discover new fundamental things about the universe we live in. With a billion-dollar computer, can we guarantee any breakthroughs in AI? I don't know that hardware is the limiting factor here.

Re:Big Science (1)

Ambitwistor (1041236) | more than 5 years ago | (#26068193)

big equipment is needed to study the extremely small or the extremely large (particle physics and astronomy)

I should clarify that this is certainly not always the case: there is a lot of astronomy and even particle physics that you can still do without enormous resources. But there are some things that just require giant experiments, because of the scale of the problem.

Re:Big Science (1)

Anpheus (908711) | more than 5 years ago | (#26071133)

The Department of Energy is a major source of government funding for big computer systems. There are others, but I believe they're the largest.

Re:Big Science (1)

fenodyree (802102) | more than 5 years ago | (#26067919)

Suppose you have bills, bills, bills to pay. It would be optimal for the future (ie, your credit rating) to get them paid. Now, imagine some random guys, really rich guys, are willing to pay some of the bills for you, leaving you to only pay for a few bills the rich guys won't pony up for. What are you going to do?

Not particularly interesting actually, simple dollars and sense, perhaps it does not sit well that you might have to work for the evil industry, with all their "agendas", but it gets the job done. Tech moves along pretty well for no government funding.

Re:Big Science (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26070687)

Not particularly interesting actually, simple dollars and *cents*, perhaps it does not sit well that you might have to work for the evil industry, with all their "agendas", but it gets the job done.

Fixed that for you.

Re:Big Science (2, Funny)

rcw-home (122017) | more than 5 years ago | (#26068675)

Where's the IBM of telescopes?

That's kinda like asking "Where's the IBM of marble sculpture?"

You can mass-produce ICs. If you've found a way to mass-produce large parabolic or hyperbolic wavelength-accurate mirrors, well, you should definitely submit that one to Slashdot, OK?

Re:Big Science (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26073699)

You can mass-produce ICs. If you've found a way to mass-produce large parabolic or hyperbolic wavelength-accurate mirrors, well, you should definitely submit that one to Slashdot, OK?

I think it has something to do with ?????

Re:Big Science (1)

Ken_g6 (775014) | more than 5 years ago | (#26077627)

You can mass-produce ICs. If you've found a way to mass-produce large parabolic or hyperbolic wavelength-accurate mirrors, well, you should definitely submit that one to Slashdot, OK?

Well, come to think of it, you probably could take a silicon wafer and etch it into a Fresnel mirror [wikipedia.org] . Of course, this would be a very expensive mirror, and only about 12 inches [wikipedia.org] in diameter maximum.

Re:Big Science (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 5 years ago | (#26069003)

Probably because if you went to NSF and said "I could make a breakthrough in AI research, if only I had a powerful enough computer", they would (most likely correctly) not believe you. If you go to them and said "I could make a breakthrough in astrophysics, if only I had a big enough neutrino detector", they would.

Re:Big Science (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26070953)

That's because physics is a science and computation is a joke.

Obligatory (1)

rdnetto (955205) | more than 5 years ago | (#26071209)

And how come it's always physics physics physics?

http://xkcd.com/435/ [xkcd.com]

Re:Big Science (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26072351)

how come it's always physics physics physics? And mostly, telescopes? If someone goes to the NSF and asks for billions to build a really big computer to do AI research on, the NSF tells them to go talk to IBM. Where's the IBM of telescopes? Even when it comes to rockets the big contractors are not expected to wear the cost of development (cost-plus contracts being an abomination, but at least it gets shit done), but if you wanna do basic science in compsci on decent hardware, you have to go work for a corp research lab.

Just figure out some military applications and I'm sure you can get all the funding you want.

As it stands, the Department of War... er... i mean Defense, funds something like 40% of all university research. I'm sure plenty of astronomers want to think of a way to hop on that gravy train.

important safety tip: (2, Informative)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 5 years ago | (#26067625)

Don't take in stray sled dogs from nearby camps. Shoot them before they can get close to your camp, then burn the bodies. I'm just sayin'...

Re:important safety tip: (3, Interesting)

spsheridan (237007) | more than 5 years ago | (#26068307)

My understanding is that The Thing is required viewing at the start of each Winter Season at the South Pole research station - if you think about who actually would spend a winter at the south pole I think you can see why they would be all over this kind of thing.

The Thing - 50s vs 80s (1)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 5 years ago | (#26068653)

Whilst we're on the topic, I have actually seen both the original from the 50s and the John Carpenter version, and do yourself a favour - if you ever get curious about the 50s version, don't. Seriously, just don't. A perfect example of, "What has been seen cannot be UNseen."

Instead, go on a John Carpenter binge and watch 'Prince of Darkness' and 'Big Trouble in Little China,' and save yourself a lot of grief while being vastly entertained.

Re:The Thing - 50s vs 80s (1)

ErkDemon (1202789) | more than 5 years ago | (#26069097)

Yep, in the 1950 version, the constant stream of clever-clever snappy machine-gun-delivery "Howard Hawks" dialogue is distracting. You shouldn't be watching a horror film and being reminded of Katherine Hepburn and Cary Grant in "Bringing up Baby"! It's kinda like you're watching Alien, but with constant additional dialogue by Carl Sagan and Groucho Marx.

"An intellectual carrot! The mind boggles."
Hmm.

I guess with the 1950's version, you either watch it with the sound almost down, or you forget about the horror aspect and just concentrate on the dialogue (as an amusing historical curiosity), and listen out for the double-entendre smutty bits.

The 1980s version made me jump when the hot wire went into the petri dish.

Not a telescope. (1, Informative)

Annymouse Cowherd (1037080) | more than 5 years ago | (#26067669)

This is a neutrino detector [wikipedia.org] . It is not a telescope. It works by detecting electrons or muons created when neutrinos hit the surrounding ice.

Re:Not a telescope. (5, Interesting)

spsheridan (237007) | more than 5 years ago | (#26068271)

I guess a telescope isn't a telescope, it's a light detector. It detects light that hits it mirrors...

These neutrino telescopes work by detecting Cherenkov Radiation created by the collision by-products and then determining the track of the particle that is emmiting the Cherenkov Radiation. The momentum of the original Neutrino is conserved so the track of the by-product is very close to the original trajectory.

You filter out downward tracks because they are generally caused by atmospheric cosmic radiation - the earth is basically your filter here, only neutrino's will be coming up through the earth. It's called a telescope because they hope to be able to correlate neutrino tracks with actual stellar objects - once the detector is large enough (hence the cubic kilometer size) there should be a sufficient cross section of matter to have a regular set of interactions from persistent neutrino sources.

This is an extension of the AMANDA research project, they drilled the original series of test holes in the 90's to prove the process would work - I helped build some of the detector equipment back in Wisconsin while I was an undergrad there.

Re:Not a telescope. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26071685)

These neutrino telescopes work by detecting Cherenkov Radiation created by the collision by-products and then determining the track of the particle that is emmiting the Cherenkov Radiation.

True for muons, but electrons don't travel very far in the ice due to their small rest masses. They basically produce a cascade of secondary particles at the point of interaction, which looks like a blob of light to the photomultiplier tubes. The GZK neutrinos should make pretty large looking events that will light up nearly every string.

IceCube should be able to detect a number of different particles (monopoles etc), but not all of these cause tracks through the ice.

I am currently working with the IceCube Collaboration.

Re:Not a telescope. (1)

kwikrick (755625) | more than 5 years ago | (#26072325)

sure it is:

tele = far
scope = see

it detects (sees) events taking place far away.

Although Wikipedia defines a telescope as:

"an instrument designed for the observation of remote objects by the collection of electromagnetic radiation"

I suppose neutrinos are not technically electromagnetic radiation.

Re:Not a telescope. (1)

aXis100 (690904) | more than 5 years ago | (#26068325)

And a CCD pixel is just a photon detector ....

But if you have enough of them and the geometrey is right, you can reconstruct where they cam from and develop an image. I'd say this is a telescope too, just not an optical one.

Yes, not a telescope. (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 5 years ago | (#26068881)

A telescope collects light or other radiation passing through a large aperture and forms an image. This neither concentrates the neutrinos nor forms an image.

Re:Not a telescope. (1)

emmons (94632) | more than 5 years ago | (#26069111)

And not led by UD. Wisconsin gets credit for this one: http://icecube.wisc.edu/

Nut gallery oddly subued (0, Troll)

MSTCrow5429 (642744) | more than 5 years ago | (#26067743)

Why aren't the enviros screaming that the telescope is somehow going to destroy a fragile ecosystem and lead to extinction of one or more endangered species, a la ANWR?

Re:Nut gallery oddly subued (2, Informative)

againjj (1132651) | more than 5 years ago | (#26068317)

There's nothing there. ANWR [wikipedia.org] actually has wildlife.

Literally... (1)

bughunter (10093) | more than 5 years ago | (#26068165)

Scintillating!

Re:Literally... (1)

Aardpig (622459) | more than 5 years ago | (#26077705)

I'm sorry, you've mistaken Slashdot for a place frequented by educated people. Your humor sits alone in the dark...

Re:Literally... (1)

bughunter (10093) | more than 5 years ago | (#26079351)

Is that a fnord in your sig?

Not just U Delaware (1)

dlenmn (145080) | more than 5 years ago | (#26068181)

This is a huge project with a long list of collaborating organizations http://www.icecube.wisc.edu/collaboration/collaborators.php [wisc.edu] . I know there's a large number of Ice Cube folks here at U Wisconsin-Madison.

The scale of the project really is something. Neutrinos interact with other matter very infrequently -- something on the order of 60 billion neutrinos pass through you each second, and you probably never noticed. They need such a large volume so that they can see a reasonable number of interactions. It's crazy stuff.

The northern counterpart (1)

againjj (1132651) | more than 5 years ago | (#26068535)

Apparently there is a northern counterpart to this: ANTARES [wikipedia.org] , though the article on Km3net [wikipedia.org] says that that is a pilot project for Km3net.

Delawhere? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26069243)

I'm from Delaware and I don't want to go back for Christmas! Even Antartica is probably a step up...

Liquidation (1)

jassa (1092003) | more than 5 years ago | (#26069277)

So, how long will they have to use this thing before global warming causes it to start melting?

IceCube? Violence? (5, Funny)

therufus (677843) | more than 5 years ago | (#26069365)

'IceCube will provide new information about some of the most violent and far-away astrophysical events in the cosmos.'

So NWA have a new album out? O.o

Re:IceCube? Violence? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26069989)

> So NWA have a new album out? O.o

Nerds With Attitude: Straight Outta Caltech

Re:IceCube? Violence? (1)

xtremee (739126) | more than 5 years ago | (#26070985)

I didn't read TFA but let me guess: This "IceCube" telescope is being built by Doctor Dre, funded by an Arabian Prince and it should be Eazy-E.

Yella(t) your friends about this, looks pretty cool.

I was there last year (4, Informative)

HoneyBeeSpace (724189) | more than 5 years ago | (#26070599)

I was there last year. For some pics of the detectors and the hot water drill used to lower the detector strings see http://spacebit.org/v/places/Antarctica/SouthPole [spacebit.org]

The drill seems straight out of Austin Powers or Bond for drilling into the core of the earth.

The visualization software (image above) was running on Linux FYI.

Re:I was there last year (1)

dafz1 (604262) | more than 5 years ago | (#26074133)

I work with the engineers who built the TWO drill heads(UW Physical Sciences Lab [wisc.edu] ). The one in your picture is the Firn drill [wisc.edu] , which "drills" (really melts) it's way through the first 50 feet of snow. The cooler drill is the enhanced hot water drill [wisc.edu] , which uses hot water to blast through the ice to a depth of 2,400 meters. The reason for two separate drills is the hot water drill isn't efficient at going through the firn layer, as the water seeps away. Also, having two drills greatly reduces drilling time because the firn drill can start another hole while the hot water drill is drilling through the ice.

To learn more about the drills, the Digital Optical Modules(DOM), they detect the neutrinos(most were also built at PSL), see this page [wisc.edu] .

Re:I was there last year (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 5 years ago | (#26078377)

You have to admit that the Firn drill is cooler looking, though.

i doubt anyone will get this ... but what the heck (1)

gravisan (1179923) | more than 5 years ago | (#26072121)

you can do it put your back into it!

Re:i doubt anyone will get this ... but what the h (1)

Canazza (1428553) | more than 5 years ago | (#26072421)

put your ass in to it... I spend 6 months being forced to listen to that tripe on the office radio... and I hate you for bringing it up. i'd +funny if i could :)

Beware of Deep Ones (2, Funny)

Arancaytar (966377) | more than 5 years ago | (#26073375)

A word of advice: If you wake any squid-headed star-spawned monstrosity deep beneath the mountains of madness, run.

Deep, man. (1)

famebait (450028) | more than 5 years ago | (#26074273)

This research team is one of the many other ones

Whoah, we're talking seriously reality-twisting science here.

-40F, that's it? (1)

KiwiCanuck (1075767) | more than 5 years ago | (#26075553)

I thought they said it was cold? It was -38F when I left for work this morning. Check out the weather for Winnipeg Canada @ http://www.theweathernetwork.com/weather/camb0244 [theweathernetwork.com] Note: -40F =-40C and 1C ~ 1.5F.

Re:-40F, that's it? (1)

Aardpig (622459) | more than 5 years ago | (#26077733)

Yeah -- but its summer down at the South Pole right now!

Re:-40F, that's it? (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 5 years ago | (#26078307)

Of course they said it was cold. Every newsie knows that you have to whoop about the cold when writing about Antarctica, no matter how irrelevant the weather is to the story.

Military uses? (1)

Muad'Dave (255648) | more than 5 years ago | (#26078407)

If this thing has decent angular resolution, I bet the military is looking at this very closely. The super-Kamiokande (or was it the Sudbury) neutrino detector was able to 'see' operating reactors from their neutrino flux. How cool would it be to be able to detect and get a fix on rogue reactors and nuclear subs?
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