But whereas the electron, the muon and the tau have spesific masses, the three neutrinoflavors has not. If one try to measure a neutrino with a given flavor, we get only one of three at random, with a certain probability for each. Neutrinos thus violate the basicintuition we have about objects. As such particles fly through the space, their flavor isunimportant. It is their mass state that dictates their behavior. This process is whatcauses the neutrinos to meta-morphose. By the princip of quantum mechanics, eachmass correspond to a wave with a certain wavelength. To use an acouistic metaphor, aneutrino is like a sound wave consisting of three pure tones. Pict.1
How does this “weird” telescope work ?
The top of the pict.1 has following text : “A neutrino reveals itself by colliding with an atomicnucleus, and unleashing a charged particle – eitheran electron or one of its close relatives, the muon and tau – neutrinos, which in turnemits visible light or radio waves.Such events are rare, so astronomers must monitor a large volume of matter to see adecent number of them. Water, either liquid or frozen, is the usual medium of choise; itis fairly dense (maximizing the chance of a collision), yet transparent (letting theresulting light be seen)”.The
detector will have a volume of 1 km
, with location on the SouthPole Station. 86 light detectors are placed in 1.4 km deep holes in the ice-mass, muchlike the Amanda detector. Angular resolution should be 1-2 degrees, energy range 10
eV, and estimated completion in 2011. From the 86 highly sensitive light detectors,a large amounts of data goes to a computor. (bottom pict.1)
What about neutrinos direction and their flavor ?
The path of one of the three alternative neutrinos, the electron- muon- or tau neutrinowill emit light (shown as the yellow streak in pict.1) and the light detectors will make aprecise timing of the arrival of this light in the IceCub, and also the color, thus making itpossible to calculate the direction and the kind of flavor the neutrino had. The scientistsknow which color pattern each of them will produce. (Pict.2)