back to article Enormous 1km ice-cube machine fashioned at South Pole

International boffins have created an enormous particle detector by instrumenting up a kilometre-on-a-side cube of the utterly pure and transparent ice found thousands of metres beneath the surface at the South Pole. Sensibly enough the boffins left the giant ice cube in place rather than trying to move it to somewhere more …

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Your Maths.

100 (which is 99.9... rounded, for simplicity's sake) to the power of "a lot" is significantly more than "a lot".

100^100 is more than 100, 100^9999 is more than 9999, 100^123456789 is more than 123456789. Extend to your fairly pointless post, and this still holds.

So you're saying more quarks interact with the earth than pass through it? Spiffing.

Oh, by the way, this doesn't detect quarks.

And to the best of my knowledge, you don't get many free quarks floating around space.

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Quarks?

Ummm no - I only wrote Quarks instead of Neutrinos to see if any of you were paying attention to my magnificent sciense lessun.

In spite of the incalculableness of it all, it's a rather amazing device and thing to be researching.

And just think 10,s of thousands of years from now the geophysioarchiogists will be saying "Ohhhhh darling - what lovely chandeliers - Our conclusions are that the poleanders became extinct from being just too fashionably gay".

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Boffin

Quarks

"And to the best of my knowledge, you don't get many free quarks floating around space."

<Sigh> not since the good old picoseconds.

Back in the ol' 10^-9 seconds things were different. Back then there weren't none of these fancy new fangled hadrons and leptons and what have you. There was quarks a plenty back then, and a whole mess of gluons too, and it were a darn sight warmer to boot.

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> most neutrinos pass right through the Earth without stopping

most neutrinos have sense

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Pint

Haa,Haa,funny

Nice - philosophical and astute! I think you owe me a keyboard? Nah, have a beer!

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The Ice Cube was funded by... Barbados...?

Evidently a strategic investment decision.

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Go

They have to take the risk

I know Hollywood tells us there's a risk of finding deep frozen space aliens down there.

But Hollywood also tells us, via the factual docu-drama movie "2012" that neutrinos are going to change their behaviour pretty soon and start warming things up a bit.

Obviously these scientists have seen the film and are just trying to find a way to save humanity - or at least the best-looking actors - before it's too late.

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Boffin

Junket for particle physicists

I knew one of the NSF grant reviewers in the US who had to go and visit the site when they were asking for extra funds. A 3-4 week round trip just to look at some snow... I was jealous 'cos I never got that kind of trip!

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Coat

Next, on Discovery Channel!!

"Extreme Boffinry!" - oh wait, isn't that MythBusters, then?

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Neutrino, where are you? You never interact with me. Like my girlfriend.

What was I saying? Oh yes: I propose a new Reg Measure.

"That's why it was thought worthwhile to spend no less than $279m"

So 280m USD then?

That's 17 hours of Afghanistan War.

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An ice cube...?

Really, I'm stunned.

In among all that random ice, someone's hidden a massive ice-cube!

Genius! It's like hiding a house in a pile of bricks!

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JATO Planes

...have been used for a very long time in Antarctica. My dad surveyed part of Victoria's Land in 1962–63, and I have a picture he took of the JATO bottles being affixed to a US Navy C-47 (military DC-3) flown in to take them out at the end of the expedition.

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Boffin

Killjoy here

This is news NOW? (grumble, grumble)

They've been building AMANDA for almost 10 years and have been doing test runs since at least 2003. I was down there then and felt like a kid in a candy store (or as Pterry once put it, like the monkey with the key to the banana plantation) looking at the Beowulf cluster they put together, thousand of miles in the middle of nowhere. Had to do - of all things - a security C&A for the NSF. Long story......

I remember the project manager telling me "somebody is going to get a Nobel out of this".

However, still feel cheated because our flight didn't get to use JATO, as it was mostly empty and they even dumped fuel to top off the South Pole station tanks.

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Joke

most neutrinos pass right through the Earth without stopping...

I ate a curry like that once....

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Boffin

cool stuff ...

Fond memories ... did help a tiny bit with that, as a student intern - 17 years ago, building dark rooms and measuring photodetector noise and sensitivity characteristics, when DESY Zeuthen created the prototypes of what were eventually to become the Amanda / Icecube detector strings. I still have half a glass sphere (from the older Baikal detectors) at home for use as oversized salad bowl (the Baikal spheres are about 20" diameter, the Icecube ones are smaller, I think 14").

Icecube was a distant dream at the time ...

http://zms.desy.de/information__services/press/pressreleases/2010/pr_201210/index_eng.html

Great to see this finally become operative, and congratulations to the Ice^3 team !

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Olaf

I did notice on the link to the Amunsdson base that it's not a great deal colder at the South Pole (-21C)than it is outside my office (-11C) and it in fact considerably warmer at McMurdo Station (+4C)

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Boffin

But you have to remember

That its the beginning of Summer down there.

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Reduced Thermal noise

The cold temperatures should help reduce noise and enable the detectors and electronics to be more sensitive.

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Linux

Is there SOME reason to not just serve the video??

You guys have bought into the scheme of killing off the cache of the video, like there's something to be gained. Who would bother to pirate it?? With my Satellite feed and others on stinking modem-dialups, I just let the video make it's jerky way to me, and then replay it in order to nicely watch it. But, some butt-munch anal techie decides we don't get to do that, for some extremely STUPID reason. Get wise, and just let the video reside in our cache, so we can view the darn thing. Extremely grumpy at the Register, Ric

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Pint

Dreams of Light Speed

on a (only) slighter more serious note re: all this talk of aliens ,this truly must be scientific breakthrough as it is science copying fiction and fiction copying science... they are searching for something truly amazing down there.

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