Boat detector may also detect neutrinos


I’m blogging from the IOP’s Annual Meeting of the High Energy Particle Physics Group. Below is my favourite quote of the conference, coming from Simon, who was presenting work with the ACoRNE presentation:

If neutrinos are as big as boats… and they go by four times, then we’re guaranteed to see them.

That wasn’t meant to be figurative, either. The ACoRNE experiment acoustically searches for ultra high energy neutrinos in the ocean (just off the Isle of Skye). Stanford has a similar experiment called SAUND. Both make use of underwater hydrophone arrays to actually listen to the sound of high-energy neutrinos hitting water nuclei. ACoRNE’s current experimental status is that it was able to successfully detect the researchers’ boat as it passed by a few times. It still requires some work to get to the order of magnitude of neutrinos. The experiment’s `background’ includes things like dolphins and rain. (How cool is that?)

Simon has also embedded a very cool video in his powerpoint slides, which made me think I was watching SeaQuest DSV.

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