News & AnalysisParticle Physics

Physicists Snare a Precious Few Neutrinos From the Cosmos

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Science  22 Nov 2013:
Vol. 342, Issue 6161, pp. 920
DOI: 10.1126/science.342.6161.920

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After 40 years of trying, physicists have detected subatomic particles called neutrinos zinging in at high energies from beyond our solar system. The observation comes from a detector called IceCube, built into 1 cubic kilometer of ice at the South Pole, and some physicists say it marks the birth of neutrino astronomy. However, IceCube sees high-energy neutrinos at such a low rate that it may not be able to map individual sources of them in the sky, the ultimate goal. That may require an even bigger detector.