Now Archived!
Antarctica Day Celebration live from the South Pole Station, Antarctica with Jocelyn Argueta and Dr. James Madsen. You can view the archive here.

What Are They Doing?

Group photo of all neutrino hunters currently at the ceremonial South Pole. Photo by Rishabh Khandelwal.
Group photo of all neutrino hunters currently at the ceremonial South Pole. Photo by Rishabh Khandelwal.
IceCube is located at the South Pole and records the interactions of a nearly massless sub-atomic messenger particle called the neutrino. IceCube searches for neutrinos from the most violent astrophysical sources: events like exploding stars, gamma ray bursts, and cataclysmic phenomena involving black holes and neutron stars. The IceCube Neutrino Observatory is a powerful tool to search for dark matter, and could reveal the new physical processes associated with the enigmatic origin of the highest energy particles in nature. In addition, IceCube studies the neutrinos themselves using the 100,000 neutrinos detected per year produced by cosmic rays in the atmosphere. Their energies far exceed those from accelerator beams. IceCube encompasses a cubic kilometer of instrumented ice, and is the largest detector by volume ever built.

The fully built ARA project, also located at the South Pole, will have an effective volume 100 times bigger than IceCube. The trade off is that it is only capable of observing radio waves from extremely high energy neutrinos, a million times more energetic than the neutrinos produced by cosmic rays in the atmosphere. This neutrinos are extremely rare, which is why such a large detector is needed to increase the chance of seeing one.

Where Are They?

The IceCube Neutrino Observatory. Photo by Kate Miller.
The IceCube Neutrino Observatory. Photo by Kate Miller.
The team works at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station in Antarctica. The IceCube site is about one kilometer from the South Pole station, which supplies the necessary logistics of food, power, and shelter. Despite the cold outside, life inside the station is relatively luxurious with comfortable beds, cooked meals, and showers twice a week. The South Pole is reached by plane from McMurdo Station on the coast of Antarctica, accessible from the end of October through mid-February, after which time temperatures become too low for planes to operate safely. About 40 people remain at the South Pole station the rest of the year, which is known as wintering over. IceCube has two people dedicated to overseeing the operation of the telescope during this period at the South Pole.

Latest Journals

Icy at Heart It's been a full 30 days since I got back from my adventure! Time sure does fly, and yet, I missed being on the ice nearly every single day. And now all I want to do is share this experience with my community and my audience of future scientists. Last week, I had my first Jargie…
Back to the dark side I'm back in California, where winter means 60 degrees F and the night sky is dark! I woke up in disbelief that I spent the month of December at the South Pole; what an experience! I'm still decompressing and going through hundreds and hundreds of photos, but I'll be back soon…
Off-Ice I was pleasantly surprised when I landed in Christchurch on my planned off-ice date. No delays leaving the South Pole, no delays in McMurdo, everything went smoothly. I bet my family was crossing their fingers extra hard to have me home for New Year. It worked! Right now I am in Melbourne,…
Penguin count The final penguin count is...ZERO. I went on three different hikes for a total of four hours; I tried, dear friends, I tried. I might go back out after dinner...just one last time because my flight to New Zealand is scheduled for tomorrow morning! At 8pm tonight, I'll be going to the…
South Pole Station, Antarctica
Project Funded Title
IceCube and The Askaryan Radio Array
Jocelyn Argueta - Educator
Phantom Projects

Jocelyn (aka Jargie the Science Girl) is a performer-scientist that uses the magic of live theatre to spark curiosity across the United States! She received her Bachelor’s degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of California, Irvine. Her experience at the lab bench researching Alzheimer’s disease and allergy diagnostics paved the way to her love of science communication. After teaching informally and loving it, Jocelyn joined forces with Phantom Projects Theatre Group to create “Jargie the Science Girl!” an educational science show that tours to venues nationwide. Jargie and her penguin lab assistant, Benjamin, combine colorful props, multimedia, and an endless amount of quirk to encourage students to ask questions and look for science in their everyday lives. Jocelyn is looking forward to showcasing Antarctic research (and beauty!) in curriculum used for future performances.

Jim Madsen - Researcher
University of Wisconsin River Falls

Dr. Madsen is the chair of the Physics Department at UW-River Falls and Associate Director of the IceCube Neutrino Observatory where he directs the education and outreach program. 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.

"Working in Antarctica is a wonderful adventure, and it is great to provide opportunities for others to have this awesome experience."

Michael DuVernois - Researcher
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Michael DuVernois is a Senior Scientist with the Wisconsin IceCube Particle Astrophysics Center and a Research Professor with the Department of Physics at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. He is an experimental physicist working on the IceCube and ARA neutrino observatories at the South Pole. His other research interests include high-energy gamma-ray astronomy, humanitarian demining, and detector development for particle and astro-particle physics. Less technically, he has bowled on all seven continents, and is found most Austral Summers at the South Pole supervising students and technicians. He has previously flown satellite experiments in orbit and through the solar system, balloon instruments to the top of the Earth’s atmosphere, and built instrumentation for mountain-top and extended ground-based observatories.

IceCube and The Askaryan Radio Array 2019 Resources

The PolarTREC Field Experience##

The PolarTREC Field Experience is amazing! PolarTREC (Polar Teachers Researchers and Educators Exploring and Collaborating) matches polar researchers with educators to highlight, and increase accessibility to, the science happening in some of the most fascinating places on our planet—the Arctic and Antarctic regions. It is an opportunity for educators to be completely immersed in the culture

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This is an archive of PolarConnect event celebrating the 60th anniversary of the Antarctica Treaty with educator Jocelyn Argueta and researcher Jim Madsen broadcast live from the South Pole on 13 December 2019.

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University of Wisconsin IceCube publication of an interview with Jocelyn Argueta (aka Jargie the Science Girl).

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