University of Wisconsin-Madison

2008 IceCube Update - Section 1


IceCube is a 1 km3 neutrino detector now being built at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station. It consists of 4800 Digital Optical Modules (DOMs) which detect Cherenkov radiation from the charged particles produced in neutrino interactions. IceCube will observe astrophysical neutrinos with energies above about 100 GeV. IceCube will be able to separate νμ, νe and ντ interactions because of their different topologies. IceCube construction is currently 50% complete.

I. Introduction

IceCube, shown in Fig. 1, is a 1 km3 neutrino detector being built to record the interactions produced by astrophysical neutrinos with energies above about 100 GeV [1]. IceCube will observe the Cherenkov radiation from charged particles produced in neutrino interactions, using 4800 optical sensors attached to 80 vertical strings which are deployed in a hexagonal array.

IceCube shares many characteristics with the smaller, laboratory-scale detectors discussed at SORMA. It is a large, segmented tracking calorimeter that measures the energy deposition in segmented volumes of Antarctic ice. It can differentiate between the topologies for electron, muon and tau neutrino interactions. It also has very good timing resolution, which is used to accurately reconstruct muon trajectories and to find the vertices of contained events. The size of IceCube is well matched to the energy scale; a muon with an energy of about 200 GeV travels about 1 km in ice.

Manuscript received June xx, 2008. (Write the date on which you submitted your paper for review.) This work was supported in part by the U.S. National Science Foundation under grant number 0653266, by the NSF Office of Polar Programs and the Physics Division, by the Department of Energy under Contract No. DE-AC02-05CH11231, by the National Energy Research Supercomputing Center, and the University of Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation.

S. R. Klein is with the Nuclear Science Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA, 94720, USA (email: and with the Physics Department, University of California, Berkeley. The members of the IceCube collaboration are listed at