Cancelled! The webinar with educator Jocelyn Argueta and researcher Jim Madsen for a presentation celebrating Antarctica Day 2019 has been cancelled due to lack of satellite availability. Please stay tuned for future events.

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

IceCube In Person Jocelyn update This was my first day without altitude medication and I’m happy to report I am feeling great! I even walked a couple kilometers outside. I took A LOT of breaks to breathe, but hey, new personal record. I also mailed out the Jargie the Science Girl! postcards. They…
Back to being me Jocelyn update Hello, everyone!! I woke up this morning feeling wonderful, with only a tiny, itty, bitty headache that I soothed with Tylenol, coffee, and lots of water. Could this be the beginning of the end to my altitude sickness? I hope so. In addition to drinking water and…
THE GAME Part 2 This post will be short and sweet. I just wanted to come on and say that I WON THE GAME! I'M AT THE SOUTH POLE!!!! I got in this morning around 2am and have spent the day just wandering around the station. This is my first time living and working at elevation and to top it off, I…
THE GAME There is a game that you have to play when traveling to, and around, Antarctica. Here are the rules: You don’t choose THE GAME; it chooses you. There is an unlimited number of players. You only get there when you get there. Experience will not increase your odds of winning. The only way…
South Pole Station, Antarctica
Project Funded Title
IceCube and The Askaryan Radio Array
Jocelyn Argueta - Educator

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

There are currently no resources associated with this expedition.