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The IceCube project has transformed one cubic kilometer of natural Antarctic ice into a neutrino detector. The instrument detects more than 100,000 neutrinos per year in the GeV to PeV energy range, among these a recent flux of high-energy cosmic neutrinos. The high cosmic neutrino flux observed indicates that a significant fraction of the radiation in the non-thermal universe, powered by compact objects from neutron stars to supermassive black holes, is generated by proton accelerators.
Bethe lecturer Francis Halzen, Gregory Breit Professor and Hilldale Professor of Physics at UW-Madison and the principal investigator of IceCube, discusses the instrument, the analysis of the data, and the significance of the discovery of cosmic neutrinos, March 21, 2016 as part of the Department of Physics colloquium series.