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Thanks to Neutrino Detector, We Might Get a Good Look At the Next Supernova

timothy posted about a year ago | from the let's-stay-out-of-the-actual-blast-radius dept.

Space 85

sciencehabit writes "The last star to go supernova in the Milky Way—that astronomers know of—exploded in 1604, before Galileo first turned a telescope to the heavens. But with a neutrino detector now being built within a Japanese mountain that could come online as early as 2016, researchers might be able to do something as yet undone: Make detailed observations of a supernova in our galaxy before it visibly explodes. First, astronomers would be alerted to the unfolding event by the flood of neutrinos generated when a supernova collapses. Within minutes, they could determine the general area of the sky where the explosion would occur, point their infrared telescopes in that direction, and wait for the fireworks. With the new sensor in place, instruments—especially infrared telescopes—would have an almost 100% chance of observing the next supernova in our galaxy, the researchers report."

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First (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45316125)

Boom!

When I read news like this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45316135)

When I read news like this, my lousy programming job that pays 80k a years, seems like a total bullshit, compared to this.
What makes me even sadder...... those super novas are so far away, and might have existed even longer than earth and our solar system.
One day, our sun will go up in flame, and not even a trace of our existence will be left behind.

Re:When I read news like this (2)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#45316193)

well milky way is just 100k lightyears.. soo.. detecting one in the milky way, it would have had to happen long after the earth was here.

maybe you need a new job, though 80k is pretty good globally if you're talking about dollars... for any job.

Re: When I read news like this (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45316241)

80k is pretty good globally if you're talking about dollars... for any job.

O rly? Did you poll any Sonderkommando [wikipedia.org] before making that generalization?

Re: When I read news like this (2)

expatriot (903070) | about a year ago | (#45316513)

If you pay is above the national average (even more so if it is twice the national average) you have good pay for the country you are in.

80k is intrinsically pretty good. That sense of entitlement won't serve you well in the long term.

Re: When I read news like this (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45316645)

If you pay is above the national average (even more so if it is twice the national average) you have good pay for the country you are in.

80k is intrinsically pretty good. That sense of entitlement won't serve you well in the long term.

So, you would be *grateful* to be a Sonderkommando for 80k/year? Hell, for *any* amount per year? (or per four months, as in the typical case...)

What kind of fucked up person are you? Entitlement has nothing to do with it, you knee-jerk reactionary.

Re: When I read news like this (1)

khallow (566160) | about a year ago | (#45316749)

Did you poll any Sonderkommando before making that generalization?

Check the pay next time before you open your mouth. That "job" has no salary and you get to die when your usefulness is over.

But you go ahead and tell us what the salary should be for shoving people into ovens.

Re: When I read news like this (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45316833)

Did you poll any Sonderkommando before making that generalization?

Check the pay next time before you open your mouth. That "job" has no salary and you get to die when your usefulness is over.

But you go ahead and tell us what the salary should be for shoving people into ovens.

Guess that depends on what the cost of what religious indifference has on society to create such a job.

Isn't it ironic all the religious zealots who see nothing but angels and goodness surrounding your "beautiful" religion only ever want to see and acknowledge one side of your very ugly coin.

But hey, let's keep sitting here talking about horrible jobs with ovens and the salaries we should pay, and continue to paint that elephant in the room who keeps shitting on everyone pink. I don't care how bad it smells, it's still a very pretty pink elephant. Ignorance and religion clearly go hand in hand.

Re: When I read news like this (2)

khallow (566160) | about a year ago | (#45317007)

But hey, let's keep sitting here talking about horrible jobs with ovens and the salaries we should pay

Ok, we will, since you asked so nicely. So what salary do you think an oven stuffer should be paid?

Re: When I read news like this (1)

The Mighty Buzzard (878441) | about a year ago | (#45319797)

Depends. Are we talking a union shop? Unskilled jobs like this in a union shop demand 2-4x area rates for the same job in a non-union shop.

Re: When I read news like this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45320709)

According to the original comment, 80k is a good salary for *any* job. Obviously, I disagree: 80k would *not* be a good salary for that job. No amount of money would be.

So, proof by contradiction.

Re: Sonderkommando (3, Insightful)

M. Baranczak (726671) | about a year ago | (#45318083)

Godwinned within an hour of posting. On an article about a fucking neutrino detector. Way to go, guys.

Re:When I read news like this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45319715)

well milky way is just 100k lightyears.. soo.. detecting one in the milky way, it would have had to happen long after the earth was here.

maybe you need a new job, though 80k is pretty good globally if you're talking about dollars... for any job.

And probably overpaid, I would not hire a programmer that either doesn't realize the Earth is older than 100k years.

Re:When I read news like this (2)

symbolset (646467) | about a year ago | (#45316205)

If you want to feel small go out in your back yard in the summer (not near the 4th of July) and look up at the sky. Turn off the porch light, and if you have to - ask the neighbors to turn off theirs. This is the Milky Way. You'll see a cloud that goes beyond what you can see, each point in it another sun with worlds like our own. We fight over square miles, and here are whole worlds beyond number, so common that your eye cannot put one from the other.

Re:When I read news like this (1)

fractoid (1076465) | about a year ago | (#45316445)

If you want to look at it that way, mass and our own short lifespans are our worst enemies.

With less mass we could move faster. With longer lifespans, speed would be less important.

It's only when we are so constrained by mass and time, and other things like need for oxygen and food, that area of land matters at all. There's an amazing amount of universe out there just waiting for us to get our act together.

Re:When I read news like this (3, Funny)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | about a year ago | (#45316563)

I assume you meant no disrespect, but "Mass" begins with a capital "M". At Mass, my brain is in fact less constrained by its need for oxygen. I pray for my own short lifespan to become greater so I can attend even more sessions of Mass. I agree there's an amazing amount of universe out there and we do need to get our act together. We need to speedily apply forces to our worst enemies and make aliens spend their time at Mass too.

Re:When I read news like this (2)

fractoid (1076465) | about a year ago | (#45316571)

I love you.

Re:When I read news like this (1)

slick7 (1703596) | about a year ago | (#45317261)

When the LHC finally works?

Re:When I read news like this (2)

Etherwalk (681268) | about a year ago | (#45317039)

We fight over square miles, and here are whole worlds beyond number, so common that your eye cannot put one from the other.

While I appreciate the sentiment, the fact is those other worlds beyond number are REALLY hard to reach, and not everyone appreciates the sentiment.

It's like we're in a playground with a lot of bullies and a limited supply of goods, and every year there are more of us and more bullies, but not any more goods--we just occasionally figure out how to use them better. It doesn't matter how big the world is, or how many worlds there are, if we can't breach the walls of our playground and make it across the interstate to the next one.

We should try, of course. But here we are, in the meantime.

"I see
The imminent death of twenty thousand men,
That for a fantasy and trick of fame
Go to their graves like beds, fight for a plot
Whereon the numbers cannot try the cause,
Which is not tomb enough and continent
To hide the slain"

Hamlet, Act IV, Scene 4.

Re:When I read news like this (1)

Bob_Who (926234) | about a year ago | (#45319685)

Hamlet, Act IV, Scene 4.

It would probably take longer to accomplish this as humans as it would for monkeys at typewriters to accomplish Hamlet.

In other words, its difficult to reach the sublime when you're busy grasping for bananas.

Its a galaxy eat galaxy universe, I guess.

Re:When I read news like this (1)

Raenex (947668) | about a year ago | (#45317801)

If you want to feel small go out in your back yard in the summer (not near the 4th of July) and look up at the sky. Turn off the porch light, and if you have to - ask the neighbors to turn off theirs. This is the Milky Way.

If you live in a moderately sized city, you're going to have to ask quite a few "neighbors" to shut off their "porch lights" before you can see the Milky Way.

Re:When I read news like this (4, Informative)

rusty0101 (565565) | about a year ago | (#45316233)

If the supernova that this detector is designed to spot comes from within our galaxy, as they are looking for, then the star that exploded did so less than 100,000 years ago (approximately). That is well within the lifespan of our solar system.

Our sun is not likely to generate a supernova, as it has too little mass. Because there is no companion star in orbit of our sun, it is not even likely to go nova. The expectation is that several hundred million, or a billion or so years from now the sun will run out of hydrogen and switch to burning helium. At that time the energies involved will cause the sun to grow to become a red giant, which is likely to have consumed both Mercury and Venus, and possibly Terra as well. Once the energy of that process is released, (i.e. the sun runs out of Helium) the sun will collapse to a white dwarf, that will be about the size of the earth. It will continue to consume whatever remaining Hydrogen and Helium atoms are in it, but unless it collides with another star or star remnant, that's going to be the end of it's energy releasing days.

As to it destroying all traces of our existence, not so much. Even if everything in orbit and on the moon, and even the planet earth itself are destroyed, we have a lander on Titan that is likely to survive, several landers on Mars that may still be recognizable, and several interstellar missions that will still be moving. Voyager 1 is currently traveling at 17km/s, or 61,200km/h. (Which does exceed escape velocity for the sun.) While that speed will drop over time before the gravity of the sun is overcome by the gravity of other stars that will affect the flight path of Voyager 1, it is not expected to drop below 10km/s or 36,000km/h. At that speed it will travel 315,360,000 kilometers per year, a little over 1051 light seconds. (over 17 light minutes.) It will take over 1,800,000 years to travel a light year. In 100 million years it will be over 40 light years from the sun. While that may not be any great shakes as far as intergalactic distances go, it's definately far enough to avoid the effects of even a supernova if our sun were massive enough to go that route. It is possible that it will be destroyed by other stars going supernova in that time, or more likely later, but that is not a given. So even if we don't get off this rock, which I sincerely hope we can accomplish before we destroy ourselves, I expect that there will still be a trace of our existence in the universe.

Re:When I read news like this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45316337)

I suspect that the misspelling "definately" will survive the big crunch. It seems very resistant. Seriously, you'll have to explain to me how someone like you manages to not be able to spell "definitely". I mean, you write definite, not definate, right?

Re:When I read news like this (1)

Ultra64 (318705) | about a year ago | (#45316365)

At least he didn't write "defiantly" like I see pretty often.

Re:When I read news like this (2)

Raenex (947668) | about a year ago | (#45317837)

But at least defiantly passes the spellchecker.

Re:When I read news like this (1)

Bob_Who (926234) | about a year ago | (#45319777)

Clearly, he's doing it to confound you.

Re:When I read news like this (3, Informative)

tal_mud (303383) | about a year ago | (#45316373)

I think you are off by two orders of magnitude on the voyager data. Assuming you are correct that it will be coasting at around 10km/s, the speed of light is about 3x10^8 m/s or 3x10^5 km/s so voyager will travel a light year in approximately 3x10^4 = 30,000 years, not 1.8 million years. In 100 million years it will have traveled ~3,333 light years.

Re:When I read news like this (1)

rusty0101 (565565) | about a year ago | (#45322175)

You may be right. Though 3k light years seems a bit far to me, even in 100 million years. But then no matter whether it's 40 light years, or 3k light years, what happens to our sun at that point is unlikely to have much of an impact on Voyager 1. In any case, the path Voyager takes is not going to be a straight line, even between galaxies should it be traveling that far.

Re:When I read news like this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45322365)

In that same 100 million years, the Sun would have traveled ~70k light years relative to a non-rotating galactic frame.

Re:When I read news like this (3, Informative)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year ago | (#45316653)

The expectation is that several hundred million, or a billion or so years from now the sun will run out of hydrogen...

Make that slightly more than five billion years. Although, a few hundred million years from now, Earth will be a nasty place anyway, because of the fairly regular 1% increase in solar luminosity per every 100 My.

....and switch to burning helium. At that time the energies involved will cause the sun to grow to become a red giant, which is likely to have consumed both Mercury and Venus, and possibly Terra as well.

You mean that a helium flash will occur. But isn't that actually supposed to happen AFTER the Sun becomes a red giant? I think it is.

Once the energy of that process is released, (i.e. the sun runs out of Helium) the sun will collapse to a white dwarf, that will be about the size of the earth. It will continue to consume whatever remaining Hydrogen and Helium atoms are in it, but unless it collides with another star or star remnant, that's going to be the end of it's energy releasing days.

Again, vastly simplified and potentially misleading.

it is not expected to drop below 10km/s or 36,000km/h. At that speed it will travel 315,360,000 kilometers per year, a little over 1051 light seconds. (over 17 light minutes.) It will take over 1,800,000 years to travel a light year.

Your numbers are somewhat off, because 1,800,000 years at 10 km/s actually gives sixty light years. Obviously, the figure can become substantially different depending of the actual trajectory.

Re:When I read news like this (1)

rusty0101 (565565) | about a year ago | (#45322271)

I was trying to keep it simple. I'm not an astrophysicist, don't have the references necessary handy, and so on. As far as the calculations being off, I'd far rather in this case have calculated on the low side than on the high side. If everyone keeps correcting me by pointing out that my calculations are low, it just supports the conclusion that we'll be even farther out there than people expected.

Essentially my statement is that when the sun 'goes' we may see the loss of the planet earth, and all that we've done and created on earth, but what we've created will provide evidence that we existed. Whether it's still recognizable, has useful information on finding out where it came from and where we were at the time is a different subject.

Personally I how that our descendants find a way to get enough of us off this rock, and out of this solar system before that happens, and in that case there will likely be graffiti spread through our solar system, and out into a good part of the galaxy noting our existence, but I'm not counting on it any more.

Re:When I read news like this (1)

GodGell (897123) | about a year ago | (#45333783)

That was a very interesting read, thank you.

Re:When I read news like this (2)

niftydude (1745144) | about a year ago | (#45316367)

When I read news like this, my lousy programming job that pays 80k a years, seems like a total bullshit, compared to this.

If you feel this way, you should realize that it's never too late to go back to university, get a PhD and join the research effort in some capacity. You'll likely find that you won't earn as much as an academic than if you had stuck to a career in programming, but your work will be more interesting and fulfilling.

Re:When I read news like this (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45316873)

You'll likely find that you won't earn as much as an academic

This is an understatement.

Re:When I read news like this (1)

x_t0ken_407 (2716535) | about a year ago | (#45322027)

I struggle with not doing something like you suggest everyday -- the compensation factor you mention is the barrier :/

Re:When I read news like this (3, Insightful)

K. S. Kyosuke (729550) | about a year ago | (#45316575)

those super novas are so far away, and might have existed even longer than earth and our solar system.

Not in their own frame of reference. They explode precisely because they're too heavy, after a fairly short life. Remember, obesity can screw your retirement plans!

Re:When I read news like this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45316813)

Unfortunately to be studying supernovas you would likely be paid far less unless you're a prof with tenure.

Re:When I read news like this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45317401)

I know plenty of tenured professors that make less than that, depending on what field you work in, how much research you do, and how big of a university you work at. Although the median in most physical sciences is larger than 80k, but not by much.

Re:When I read news like this (1)

isorox (205688) | about a year ago | (#45316929)

When I read news like this, my lousy programming job that pays 80k a years, seems like a total bullshit, compared to this.
What makes me even sadder...... those super novas are so far away, and might have existed even longer than earth and our solar system.
One day, our sun will go up in flame, and not even a trace of our existence will be left behind.

That will happen in about 2-5 biillion years. Even if mankind went extinct today, Voyager 1/2, Pioneer 10/11 and New Horizons will still exist (as well as the third stage booster from New Horizons), and likely continue to exist until the heat death of the universe.

Re:When I read news like this (2)

flyneye (84093) | about a year ago | (#45317073)

Novas , less than super, produced by Chevrolet from 1962 -1988 tend to leak oil, wear rings out and rust. It was not marketed in Mexico as the Nova or No Va (no go in Espanol) rather it was the Omega ( the last car anyone would want to be stuck with) the Mexicans cursed.
If the sun goes up in flames, certainly we hope Chevrolets budget offerings go with it.
Revere your work, pat yourself on the back, you have more on the ball than Chevrolet and your code may live beyond the life of a Nova.
Meanwhile you can tithe 10% of that $80,000 to The Electric Church c/o Rev. Fly N. Eye, in appreciation of your awe of the universe, for a special blessing my son.

Re:When I read news like this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45360233)

Would you refuse to buy a dinette set called Notable because you thought it had no table? The "No Va" crap is an urban legend. The Nova sold well in Latin America. Also, you bring Omega into this, but Omega is an Oldsmobile model name (their version of the Nova).

Re:When I read news like this (1)

flyneye (84093) | about a year ago | (#45363795)

So are you gonna run out and buy a car called constupatedslug ? I would suggest that NOVA appears more conspicuously in Espanol ,than NOTABLE does in English. Urban legend or not, I've known Mexicans with that already pre installed in their heads. They actually don't like the idea.
But feel free to try again.

Re:When I read news like this (1)

buchner.johannes (1139593) | about a year ago | (#45320853)

One day, our sun will go up in flame, and not even a trace of our existence will be left behind.

There will be traces, and their names are Pioneer 10, Pioneer 11, Voyager 1, Voyager 2 and New Horizons.

Unless the NSA Co-Opts It To Track Terrorists (2)

littlewink (996298) | about a year ago | (#45316137)

Concentrated fissionable material produce antineutrinos.

What better way to enlarge the NSA's purview than to let it take a chunk out of the particle physics budget by controlling neutrino detection technology?

Re:Unless the NSA Co-Opts It To Track Terrorists (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45316181)

haha, good luck getting good enough resolution for that...

Re:Unless the NSA Co-Opts It To Track Terrorists (3, Interesting)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about a year ago | (#45316773)

I wonder if you could increase the NASA budget by describing these things as mechanisms for keeping track of large fusion reactors to check for signs of weaponisation...

willing to work, for observing time (2)

supernova87a (532540) | about a year ago | (#45316141)

It's good that the Japanese are funding this, because at the rate European and US basic research funds are going, I doubt we'll be able to detect much of anything by 2016...

Re:willing to work, for observing time (2)

burni2 (1643061) | about a year ago | (#45316185)

Well, judging from the debt rate of UA and European States, we will get to build such a device.

Japan, actually engages in fueling their economy with debt-money, (we have seen similar matters in UA and EU States, subsidized new car programm "for the environment")

Keep in mind Japan has 200% debt rate, so the total amount of goods and money generate in the country is only half of the debt value, but it's Japan sourced debt.
All japanese people own japan two times ;)

This means in terms of house owners spoken, they owe their tenants money, and well their tenants are actually also the houseowners. Think of dogs chasing their own tails.

And now take a look at your tail and at the debt rates of UA and EU States ..

Re:willing to work, for observing time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45316611)

I did some research back during the height of the PIIGS crisis in the eurozone. Specifically, I wanted to know why Greece with a ~100% debt to gdp was fucked, but no one really worries about Japan with its 200% debt to gdp.

I discovered that what it really means is that the Japanese people are fucked. They buy these savings bonds as their cultural de rigeur mode of savings for retirement. There is technically no problem with that while the debt is being rolled over as it matures. However, eventually these old people retire and start redeeming the debt.

The pyramid scam only works if each generation plays the same game *and* increases in size sufficiently to service the debt and redeem the previous generation's debt. Since that population increase didn't happen, that means the debt can't be honestly redeemed and some sort of technical default will happen instead (either taxing away the bond redemption payout, indicing a high inflation to allow payout in worthless currency, a direct default on some of the debt, etc).

Basically, you can view a substantial portion of that savings bond debt in Japan as "uncollected wealth tax". People think they have these assets but eventually the charade will collapse and the value will revert to the government. Because that's what a refusal to pay a bond is: stealing the value back from the bondholder. The population bought government bonds with their wealth and the government will be taking that away: wealth tax.

Re:willing to work, for observing time (2)

burni2 (1643061) | about a year ago | (#45316705)

No not really, ask yourself one question, do you own anything that says "Made in Greece" or anything that says "Made in Japan".

Nobody wants to give greece money anymore. This has some causes, but all accumulate into one big cause, greece does not produce much and has an overblown
military complex. They wanted to "fragg" the turks in the past but then they stepped down and collected & displayed tanks as their sign of strength.
(try some digging, calculate the "tanks per people" ratio, and compare that to other countries)

And well my home country (germany) - in the past - was willing to lend them the money they needed to buy weapons and also supplied the weapons.

If you recognize the debt-collector-junkie-drugstarter relationship ?

Re:willing to work, for observing time (1)

khallow (566160) | about a year ago | (#45316797)

Well, if you look at how Japan screwed up the powerful economy it had in the 70s and early 80s, they aren't going to have a lot of reserve for future problems. They'll need to do something or that debt and related problems will catch up with them.

Re:willing to work, for observing time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45320765)

Suggesting that Japan is in a fucked situation does not imply that Greece has a healthy economy. Obviously, Greece is fucked as well. However, the international furor over Greece's debt is not mirrored for Japan.

Keynesians suggest this is because Greece can no longer unilaterally devalue their currency to erase their debt by stealing the value from their bondholders (I would call this approach to debt a technical default). Japan, with its own currency, *can* do so.

However, what does that accomplish if Japan eventually devalues their currency? Again, this "technical default" becomes tantamount to a wealth tax because the government initiated a course of action that erases the value of the bonds that their population holds. Devaluing the currency effectively erases all savings.

Re:willing to work, for observing time (2)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | about a year ago | (#45316715)

I doubt we'll be able to detect much of anything by 2016...

The NSA will just hack the detector, and probably have the data before the Japanese scientists.

No need to spend money on building expensive scientific experiment instruments any more. Let someone else do that. Just grab the data . . . that's all that matters anyway.

In the same way the NSA could help NASA by hijacking other countries space programs' data. Or maybe that is already being done . . .

Re:willing to work, for observing time (1)

khallow (566160) | about a year ago | (#45316783)

It's good that the Japanese are funding this, because at the rate European and US basic research funds are going, I doubt we'll be able to detect much of anything by 2016...

If any of this was important to you, you could try funding it yourself with the help of like-minded people. My take is that everyone in the world right now is going through an entitlement binge. That's going to mean less public funding of basic research and other such stuff, globally.

I suppose we could just give up and let whoever still can suck from the public teat do all the research, or we can just find other sources of funding and keep going. Assuming, of course, that this actually is important to you.

Re:willing to work, for observing time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45316827)

This could actually really work out for the entitlement generation...
Step 1 - Learn to detect supernovae
Step 2 - Learn to CAUSE supernovae
Step 3 - PROFIT!

See, entitlement can still work for the public good! Everyone wins! You get your research, and the entitled get to look after themselves financially as a reward for funding all this "useless" research. Oh. Wait....

Re:willing to work, for observing time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45321489)

He posted on the internet, developed by people 'sucking on the public teat' using a computer, the basis for which is public funded research...

Seriously, YOU are the entitled one. You enjoy the benefits of prior research but don't want to pay it forward. :Pathetic.

Allahu Akbar Supernova !!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45316145)

Allahu Akbar Supernova !!!!

There are about 8 comparable telescopes... (2)

tlambert (566799) | about a year ago | (#45316403)

There are about 8 comparable telescopes...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_neutrino_experiments [wikipedia.org]

Which makes me wonder why this one is more likely than any of the others to detect a supernova.

Re:There are about 8 comparable telescopes... (2)

riverat1 (1048260) | about a year ago | (#45316585)

Better directional accuracy because of an improved detection system?

Multi-variable Detector Performance (4, Informative)

Roger W Moore (538166) | about a year ago | (#45317533)

There are several features that you need to detect supernovae with neutrinos: good direction resolution, large enough mass to detect multiple neutrinos from the supernova and low enough energy sensitivity. Detectors like IceCube have a huge mass (1 km^3 of ice) and good directional accuracy but they cannot detect the low energy neutrinos from a supernova. Other detectors in the list use chemical methods (neutrinos will cause inverse beta decay) but these have the mass and energy sensitivity but give no directional information. This is the first experiment to have the right mix of all the parameters.

100% in the real world (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45316629)

> would have an almost 100% chance of observing
Unless it's during another government shutdown.

Neutrino Detection? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45316639)

Ummm ... have nuetrinos actually been detected yet?

I seem to remember a LOT of attempts in a number of deep dark places around the planet, but can't remember any instance where anybody maintained that they'd actually detected a puppy.

Of course, I may be wrong ... and, if so, would be grateful if someone could point me toward the relevant paper.

Re:Neutrino Detection? (2)

Bazzargh (39195) | about a year ago | (#45316815)

You're thinking of gravitational waves. Neutrinos have been (indirectly) detectable since 1956, and that detection won the Nobel prize.

http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/physics/laureates/1995/index.html [nobelprize.org]

Directly Detectable (2)

Roger W Moore (538166) | about a year ago | (#45317495)

What do you mean "indirectly"? We detect them via their direct interaction with matter. This is the same as it is for every other particle that we can detect. The only difference is that neutrinos do it far less often than most others.

Re:Neutrino Detection? (1)

Raenex (947668) | about a year ago | (#45317905)

Actually, he's probably thinking of dark matter. LIGO operates on the surface of the Earth.

Re:Neutrino Detection? (4, Funny)

TheRealHocusLocus (2319802) | about a year ago | (#45316909)

have neutrinos actually been detected yet?

Kinda sorta. Their existence has been inferred by experimental results.

Here is a nicely written neutrino primer for humans [t2k-experiment.org] that answers your detection question. If you already know everything about the subject, visit the Wiki neutrino page [wikipedia.org] to learn what you already know, revel in the obviousness of it all and have a good chuckle at the expense of folks like me who find it to be very jargony.

I first learned of neutrinos while doing web research on Neapolitan ice cream [wikipedia.org] . This amazing ice cream has three flavors, and it appears that neutrinos also have three flavors. This cannot be a coincidence. Since any unified theory which does not include ice cream must be incomplete, I see this as evidence that we are close to solving some great puzzle.

If you are at a cocktail party and overhear particle physicists in a discussion of the "Solar Neutrino Problem", step right up and say that it was Mean Mr. Sun who ate all the chocolate, leaving us to detect only the yucky vanilla and strawberry -- he even left the spoon in the freezer! You will be greeted with smiles and knowing glances, and they might even invite you on the road to tour with them. Particle physicists are always surrounded by groupies and hot women.

Neutrinos have been detected (1)

Roger W Moore (538166) | about a year ago | (#45317569)

Kinda sorta. Their existence has been inferred by experimental results.

The existence of every single particle we know of has been inferred from experimental results: neutrinos are no different. So the correct answer is "Yes, neutrinos have been detected" unless you are going to use the same uncertainty for things like the quarks, muons, Higgs boson etc. etc.

Re:Neutrinos have been detected (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45319067)

(sigh)

Yes. It's in the same category as unicorns, time-travel, bigfoot, ghosts, aliens, Easter Bunny, and Santa Claus.

All things that stupid people insist must exist, because some schmuck thinks that because he believes it therefore it is.

Neutrinos are a fucking myth. Come back to us with some proof or shut up.

Re:Neutrinos have been detected (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45322297)

Come back to us with some proof or shut up.

They won't, as they haven't even gotten back to my demands for proof that the electron exists. Until then, I'll stand by the idea electricity is a fluid, which was good enough for Maxwell. The rest can go on believing in their electrons, neutrinos, and ghosts.

Re:Neutrino Detection? (1)

Lord Crc (151920) | about a year ago | (#45316941)

Ummm ... have nuetrinos actually been detected yet?

I seem to remember a LOT of attempts in a number of deep dark places around the planet, but can't remember any instance where anybody maintained that they'd actually detected a puppy.

Yes they have. Were you thinking of dark matter? If so, the latest results [nature.com] show nothing. A review paper from this summer discussing the hunt can be found here [arxiv.org] .

Re:Neutrino Detection? (2)

bdeclerc (129522) | about a year ago | (#45317087)

Yes, neutrinos have been detected in this type of detector for many, many years - in 1987 the neutrino's from SN1987A were detected by several of these detectors.

See
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neutrino [wikipedia.org]
and
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SN_1987A [wikipedia.org]

For the actual papers, consult the "sources" listing at the end of each Wikipedia entry.

Re:Neutrino Detection? (3, Informative)

dido (9125) | about a year ago | (#45317155)

Why yes, neutrinos have been detected. The relevant paper is this: C. L Cowan Jr., F. Reines, F. B. Harrison, H. W. Kruse, A. D McGuire (July 20, 1956). "Detection of the Free Neutrino: a Confirmation [sciencemag.org] ". Science 124 (3212): 103â"4. Note the date. Frederick Reines won the 1995 Nobel Prize for these experiments [wikipedia.org] that established the existence of the neutrino.

It's hard to say that they're indirect detections. How do we even detect something like an electron? By the fundamental forces like electromagnetism, which is no different in principle from the methods used to detect neutrinos, which work by weak nuclear force interactions. The trouble is that neutrinos are affected only by gravity and the weak nuclear force (making them an example of a dark matter WIMP), so detecting them is rather hard, given that the forces involved are so weak.

Re:Neutrino Detection? (1)

Muad'Dave (255648) | about a year ago | (#45325863)

Human activity generates a staggering number of neutrinos/sec. From this article [wikipedia.org] :

"Thus, an average [4000 MWth, 1300MWe] nuclear power plant may generate over 10^20 antineutrinos per second above this threshold [1.8MeV], but also a much larger number (97%/3% = ~30 times this number) below the energy threshold, which cannot be seen with present detector technology." That's 3.1x10^21 neutrinos/sec for each 4GWth reactor!

Also, from the same reactor, "... 185 MW is radiated away as antineutrino radiation and never appears in the engineering."

Supernova 1987a (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45316865)

Actually, that's what the scientific community already performed in 1987 in some ways. Different labs observed a burst of neutrinos some time before the visible light observations. Kamiokande for sure and IMB, also, observed that burst.

Though, mind you, regarding the tech side of the problem, it's actually pretty much what has been done already with the SWIFT satellite for Gamma-ray bursts.
The problem with neutrinos is their low interaction probability, so it means that you need a gargantuesque-sized detector to have an adequate resolution.
Kamiokande is already huge: just to give an idea of the problem, it contains around 50k tons of pure water. Let's assume you just have 95% of water ( and 5% of impurities, let's say some postdocs in charge of cleaning the apparatus drowned), that's still about 15,9E32 molecules of water, which only led to finding the burst of some 11 neutrinos for supernova 1987a.
Physics... meh!
Or as Randall Munroe would say: "Science. It works, bitches."

Neutrino Detection Isn't new (2)

echusarcana (832151) | about a year ago | (#45317105)

The article is technically accurate but this isn't anything new. And yes, neutrinos will arrive before the light from an exploding supernova. There is already a large detector filled with heavy water that can do this in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada. It has been around for a decade. And this is one of the things it is advertised to do.

http://www.snolab.ca/ [snolab.ca]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sudbury_Neutrino_Observatory [wikipedia.org]

Re:Neutrino Detection Isn't new (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45317347)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kamioka_Observatory -- The original Kamiokande experiment detected neutrinos in 1987 (also read about the chain reaction that thrashed 1/3 of the experiment's quite expensive PM tubes... :-) ).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homestake_experiment -- The "homestake experiment" began long before that. Davis and Koshiba got the Nobel prize in 2002 for this and Kamiokande.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IceCube_Neutrino_Observatory -- IceCube is a current experiment in a similar vein at the South pole.

Re:Neutrino Detection Isn't new (1)

Deflagro (187160) | about a year ago | (#45328131)

I am actually from Sudbury and was shocked to hear about this when it first was proposed. I'm glad they found a use for all those mines. A pretty cool thing for such a remote little town.

Bringing out the big guns, eh? (3, Funny)

mark-t (151149) | about a year ago | (#45317631)

I guess astronomers were tired of 10 year old kids repeatedly discovering [universetoday.com] supernovas [universetoday.com] before they did.

The speed of light is finite, last time I checked (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year ago | (#45319289)

The last star to go supernova in the Milky Way—that astronomers know of—exploded in 1604

Only out by about 20,000 years.

Re:The speed of light is finite, last time I check (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year ago | (#45319301)

Well, okay, unless you're talking about the reference frame of one of the photons from the supernova, in which case, spot on.

Re:The speed of light is finite, last time I check (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#45327979)

Only out by about 20,000 years.

What reference frame are you using? There's no global time reference. I use Earth's. Since everyone here is probably on Earth, that seems like a good one. Why do you want to use a different one? It doesn't make you look smart.

Re:The speed of light is finite, last time I check (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | about a year ago | (#45329057)

I use Earth's.

So then you'd agree with me. The supernova occurred 20,000 light years away and the light reached Earth in 1604.

The only reference frame in which the supernova also exploded in 1604 is that of a photon making the trip. To us on Earth, it happened as long ago as it takes for the light to reach us (ignoring the negligible expansion of space between the two points in that time).

Detecting the neutrino ramp up to explosion (1)

mark_osmd (812581) | about a year ago | (#45321759)

I'd be more interested in someone making a neutrino detector sensitive enough to detect the silicon burning stage just before the supernova explodes. That would give a day of warning.

Unlike the markets (1)

portwojc (201398) | about a year ago | (#45323753)

Past performance is indicative of future results.

Out by a couple of centuries (1)

RockDoctor (15477) | about a year ago | (#45346363)

The last star to go supernova in the Milky Wayâ"that astronomers know ofâ"exploded in 1604,

Leaving aside the quibbles about the date of the explosion compared to the date of the light reaching the Earth, this still isn't true. There was likely a supernova in the disc of the galaxy (whose light reached Earth) in the 1870s or 1880s. But since it was on the far side of a dense gas/ dust cloud, it wasn't visible. It's only in the last few years that IR telescopes and radio telescopes have managed to detect the expanding debris cloud, and monitor it's increasing size, to determine the approximate date of the explosion.

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