IceCube In Ice Antarctic Telescope 2012
Upcoming events with the team at South Pole!
Join the IceCube team at South Pole Station, Antarctica for webinars on the science and life in the field. These webinars are not hosted through the PolarConnect system but you can sign up and learn more here: Cold Continent Hot Science Webcasts.
- Tuesday, Dec. 11 at 10am AKST [11am PST, 12pm MST, 1pm CST, 2pm EST]
- Thursday, Dec. 13 at 10am AKST [11am PST, 12pm MST, 1pm CST, 2pm EST]
- Wednesday, Dec. 19 at 10am AKST [11am PST, 12pm MST, 1pm CST, 2pm EST]
- Tuesday, Jan. 8 at 7:30am AKST [8:30am PST, 9:30am MST, 10:30am CST, 11:30 EST]
- Tuesday, Jan. 22 at 7:30am AKST [8:30am PST, 9:30am MST, 10:30am CST, 11:30 EST]
Meet the Team
Teacher - Liz Ratliff
Liz Ratliff started her career as an electrical engineer. After working in the computer industry, she went back to school to become a math teacher. Mrs Ratliff has taught at the middle school and high school level and is currently working at Gaston Day School in Gastonia, North Carolina. Since 2008, Mrs Ratliff has also been a Knowles Science Teaching Foundation fellow. Through this fellowship, she has worked with teachers across the country to develop engaging and effective lessons. In addition, it was at KSTF meeting that she first met the IceCube team. Outside of the academic world, Mrs. Ratliff enjoys learning new things and has spent her life trying out various hobbies including flying, playing bagpipes, learning languages, knitting, fencing, wood carving, etc. She's now working on the difficult and time-consuming (but very rewarding) hobby of raising her two-year old daughter.
Researcher - Jim Madsen
Dr. Madsen is the chair of the Physics Department at UW-River Falls, and the Director of Education and Outreach for the Wisconsin IceCube Particle Astrophysics Center (WIPAC). His research interests include heliophysics and astrophysics, which he has studied at his various projects in Antarctica. In addition to research, Dr. Madsen is committed to reaching a broad audience beyond the research community. He is involved in education and outreach for the IceCube project including professional development courses for teachers and science and math instruction for the UWRF Upward Bound Program. He collaborates with a number of programs and institutions in addition to PolarTREC, including the Knowles Science Teaching Foundation, UW-River Falls Upward Bound and McNair Programs, and service groups (Rotary International, Boy and Girl Scouts, university alumni associations, etc.). You can read more about Dr. Madsen's work here and here.
Where are They?
What are they Doing?
IceCube is located in Antarctica because the huge amount of dense ice under the South Pole contains many protons that can be hit by passing neutrinos, and the ice is transparent, so the resulting light can be detected by sensors. IceCube is made up of 4200 sensitive light detectors embedded in the ice at depths between 1450 and 2450 meters (4700-8000 feet). The sensors are deployed on "strings" of 60 modules each, into holes 60 cm in diameter in the ice melted using a hot water drill. Encompassing a cubic kilometer of ice, IceCube expands on an existing experiment that started detecting neutrinos at the South Pole in 1997. When IceCube is complete, it may detect up to 300,000 neutrinos a year for up to 20 years.
The data collected will be used to make a "neutrino map" of the universe and to learn more about astronomical phenomena, like gamma ray bursts, black holes, exploding stars, and other aspects of nuclear and particle physics. However, the true potential of IceCube is discovery; the opening of each new astronomical window has led to unexpected discoveries.
|Teacher Describes South Pole Work||7 January 2013||An article describing the work done by PolarTREC teacher, Liz Ratliff, during her trip to the South...||Article|
|Teacher Bringing South Pole to Classroom||3 November 2012||The Gaston Gazette article outlining PolarTREC teacher Liz Ratliff's upcoming expedition to South...||Article|
|Liz Ratliff heads to the South Pole||21 November 2012||This local TV interview is about PolarTREC teacher Liz Ratliff heading to South Pole Station,...||Video|
|Chena Hot Springs||A trip to the Chena Hot Springs in Fairbanks, Alaska. There are images from the ice museum,...||Video|