A very cool union of Astrophysics and Particle Physics


A new discovery by the IceCube is discussed in this

BBC link to the article in Nature

Besides being a very cool (pun intended) way of using the environment without misusing the environment (a big hunk of ice captures neutrinos) the discovery also raised new question about the origins of cosmic rays. To most astronomers, cosmic rays are a nuisance. They interfere with my data, creating spikes and tracks across images, which I then have to remove
(they also create hype in the UFO field as some people are determined to show these are evidence of alien spacecraft). Scientifically, it is vital to learn more about their origin as we worry about astronaut and satellite safety). These ‘little’ bursts of light may only last a few seconds but can do a lot of damage. In this article they show that the cosmic rays do not originate from gamma-ray bursts and hence most likely originate in supermassive black holes.

Of course there sample size is only 8, and possibly the neutrinos they fail to detect in these 8 events may be undetectable. But as it stands, this cool piece of particle physics is opening a new understanding of the streaks in my data.