More toys for scientists. The IceCube
neutrino detector is essentially a cubic kilometer of Antarctic ice, 1400 meters below the South Pole Station, in which an array of optical sensors is placed to detect the Cerenkov light produced by the muons that result from collisions of neutrinos with water molecules. The shielding for the detector is the Earth itself, all 8000 miles of it: IceCube is designed to detect neutrinos striking the Earth at its north
Among other things, the detector will aid in the search for magnetic monopoles and weakly interacting massive particles (WIMPs), which are one candidate for the “dark matter” which accounts for over three-quarters of the mass of the universe. See IceCube Collaboration: J. Ahrens et al, “Science Potential of the IceCube Detector
” in Proceedings of the 27th International Cosmic Ray Conference
, Hamburg, Germany, 7–15 August 2001, 1242–1245; John Baez, This Week’s Finds
, no. 232 (18 May 2006).