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Highlights of major physics conference in Washington, D.C.
Date:2/13/2010

thcoming Japanese experiment called XMASS will look for such interactions within a vat filled with a ton of liquid Xenon placed inside a 200,000-gallon water tank buried deep in the Kamioka mine in Japan. It promises to be 100-times more sensitive than other experiments searching for dark matter, says Hitoshi Murayama, the director of the Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe at the University of Tokyo. In Washington, D.C., Murayama will present a talk on the status of XMASS, which is expected to be online early in 2010. He will also discuss other future projects in Japanese astroparticle physics, including a proposed 900-million pixel camera for the Subaru telescope in Mauna Kea, HI and a project aimed at building a 3D map of the dark matter in the visible universe. (Talk B3.3, http://meetings.aps.org/Meeting/APR10/Event/114797).

10) BALLOON LISTENS TO SOUTH POLE RADIO

An Antarctic penguin looking up into the sky in 2008 might have seen the ANITA Long Duration Balloon circling high above, monitoring the ice below with the radio antennas mounted onboard. The balloon, on its second flight, was looking for an elusive, ghostly cosmic particle called an ultrahigh energy neutrino. At the February APS meeting, researchers from the ANITA project will present their analysis of the data from this flight.

Ultrahigh energy neutrinos are thought to be created when cosmic rays in distant galaxies collide with the cosmic microwave background. These cosmic rays cannot travel very far, but neutrinos can -- offering astrophysicists a way to indirectly study cosmic rays that are very far away, created long ago.

Neutrinos barely interact with matter -- they can pass through entire planets. But on occasion, when one touches an atom in a bit of ice, it should create radio waves that shoot through and out of the ice. The ANITA balloon watched more than a million cub
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Contact: Jason Bardi
jbardi@aip.org
301-209-3091
American Institute of Physics
Source:Eurekalert

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