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вторник, 24 марта 2015 г.

South Pole Telescope seeks to determine the masses of the neutrinos

                                                                                                                                                                               Down at the South Pole, where temperatures drop below negative 100 degrees Fahrenheit and darkness blankets the land for six months at a time, the South Pole Telescope (SPT) searches the skies for answers to the mysteries of our universe.

This mighty scavenger is about to get a major upgrade—a new camera that will help scientists further understand neutrinos, the ghost-like particles without electric charge that rarely interact with matter.
The 10-meter SPT is the largest telescope ever to make its way to the South Pole. It stands atop a two-mile thick plateau of ice, mapping the  (CMB), the light left over from the . Astrophysicists use these observations to understand the composition and evolution of the universe, all the way back to the first fraction of a second after the big bang, when scientists believe the universe quickly expanded during a period called inflation.
One of the goals of the SPT is to determine the masses of the neutrinos, which were produced in great abundance soon after the big bang. Though nearly massless, because neutrinos exist in huge numbers, they contribute to the total mass of the universe and affect its expansion. By mapping out the mass density of the universe through measurements of CMB lensing, the bending of light caused by immense objects such as large galaxies, astrophysicists are trying to determine the masses of these elusive particles.


Read more at: http://phys.org/news/2015-03-south-pole-telescope-masses-neutrinos.html#jCp