Jan 18, 2022

Astronomers propose building a neutrino telescope — out of the Pacific Ocean

Posted by in categories: particle physics, space

Meet the ambitious P-ONE proposal.

The P-ONE design currently involves seven 10-string clusters, with each string hosting 20 optical elements. That s a grand total of 1,400 photodetectors floating around an area of the Pacific several miles across, providing much more coverage than IceCube.

Once it’s up and running, you just need to wait. Even neutrinos will strike some ocean water and give off a little flash, and the detectors will trace it.

Of course, it’s harder than it sounds. The strands will be moving constantly, waving back and forth with the ocean itself. And the Pacific Ocean is … less than pure, with salt and plankton and all manner of fish excrement floating around. That will change the behavior of light between the strands, making precise measurement difficult.

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