Monday, January 24, 2011

The hunt for neutrinos in the Antarctic

Spencer Klein is holding a thick glass ball the size of a watermelon and it is stuffed with electronics. For 10 minutes or so, he turns it over in his hands and talks through what it does, how it works and the brutal environment it can withstand. This last point turns out to be key. Over the past half-decade, more than 5,000 of these objects have been shipped to the south pole, strung together like beads, and buried deep in the Antarctic ice sheet. Klein is a physicist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory that sits high on the hills overlooking the University of California's Berkeley campus and beyond to San Francisco Bay. More>