And you thought you knew bad weather

Submitted by anelles on Tue, 11/14/2017 - 21:23

Our team has been very productive up until now. They have installed/upgraded three new stations, have installed a wind generator, and have started to prepare for their ice studies. On top of that, they have been feeding us with nice images from Antarctica.

Team installing towers

So, what is stopping them now? Well, see for yourself:

While you are recovering from the shock that our team is just out there like that in tiny tents (no worries, they are doing alright, really, I mean the internet worked and they were able to get the video out) , let me give an answer to the question why we are upgrading stations again.

We want to check out, whether the site is good to see remains of neutrinos coming out of the mountain. We have already covered that neutrinos really don't like to interact with our regular matter, so you need lots of it. This is why we have our antennas pointed at the ice. The neutrinos could also interact in the mountain, another big pile of matter. However, the mountain is not transparent for radio waves so a neutrino interaction like in the ice would go unnoticed. However, there is one special sort of neutrino (they come in three flavors) that doesn't make the same shower that we are looking for in the ice, but first creates a so-called tau particle. This particle can actually escape the mountain and then mimic a cosmic ray, those ultra-high energy particles from space that ARIANNA also sees from time to time. So, if we can build a set-up that can detect a signature of a cosmic particle coming from the mountain instead from space, we have very likely see a rare interaction of a neutrino in the mountain. Since such a detection can then only be a neutrino of one flavor, this would makes things very interesting. But before we can see such an event, we need to test hardware and make sure that our theoretical predictions work in real life. And that is why the team gets to upgrade more stations this year.

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