May 2015: IceCube Neutrino Observatory Video

  • May 16, 2015

This video describes the IceCube Neutrino Observatory, a billion-ton detector for nearly massless subatomic particles called neutrinos located beneath the South Pole. IceCube is designed to probe the most violent astrophysical sources in the Universe: events like exploding stars, gamma-ray bursts, and cataclysmic phenomena involving black holes and neutron stars.

Tyce DeYoung, associate professor in NatSci’s Department of Physics and Astronomy, conducts research in particle astrophysics — the observation of high energy particles from space, with the twin goals of understanding how and where they are produced and better understanding the fundamental properties of the particles themselves. He plays a leading role in the IceCube experiment and is the primary narrator of the video.

The MSU IceCube research group includes several undergraduate and graduate students and postdoctoral research associates as well as DeYoung and Physics & Astronomy Assistant Professor Kendall Mahn. With nearly half a million of these ghostly particles detected so far, IceCube provides the world's largest neutrino data set, and the MSU group focuses on using this data to measure fundamental properties. Neutrinos come in three types, and quantum mechanical effects cause them to “oscillate” between types as they travel through space. Precision measurements of these oscillations allow for determining important parameters of neutrinos which may shed light on the fundamental structure of matter.

Analysis of IceCube data is aided by MSU's Institute for Cyber-Enabled Research (iCER) and its High-Performance Computing Cluster. This video was produced by iCER.

A direct link to the video on YouTube is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H4aveLqW52o .