Diana Kwon

Diana Kwon is a freelance science writer.

Excavation of the large caverns for the Long-Baseline Neutrino Facility is in full swing. Over a third of the whopping 800,000 tons that need to be extracted from a mile underground have been removed. When finished, the underground facility will cover an area about the size of eight soccer fields and provide space for the international Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment.

Underneath the vast, frozen landscape of the South Pole lies IceCube, a gigantic observatory dedicated to finding ghostly subatomic particles called neutrinos. Neutrinos stream through Earth from all directions, but they are lightweight, abundant and hardly interact with their surroundings. A forthcoming upgrade to the IceCube detector will provide deeper insights into the elusive particles.

For the last three decades, physicists have patiently waited for the next nearby supernova. Luckily, waiting is no longer the only option.
With an upgrade to the Super-Kamiokande detector, neutrino physicists will gain access to the supernovae of the past.

When LIGO and Virgo detected the echoes that likely came from a collision between a black hole and a neutron star, dozens of physicists began a hunt for the signal’s electromagnetic counterpart.