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Visiting Scientist from World's Largest Neutrino Detector to Speak at USD

Astronomy Day photo. Francis Halzen will speak at USD April 9 for Astronomy Day.

VERMILLION, S.D. – Instead of turning their attention to the sky during Astronomy Day, University of South Dakota students and Vermillion community members will focus on what’s deep below the surface of the Earth as they hear first-hand about the progress being made to do astronomy at the world’s largest neutrino detector.

Francis Halzen, Ph.D., a theoretician from the University of Wisconsin–Madison studying particle physics and astrophysics, will speak on USD’s campus in Farber Hall Monday evening, April 9, at 6:30 p.m. about his experience as the principal investigator at the IceCube Neutrino Observatory.

The observatory, which is located at the South Pole, utilizes 86 holes over 1.5 miles deep melted into the Antarctic icecap to search for neutrinos from the most violent astrophysical sources, including events such as exploding stars, gamma-ray bursts, and cataclysmic phenomena involving black holes and neutron stars.

The Astronomy Day presentation by Halzen titled “Ice Fishing for Neutrinos” will focus on the research conducted at IceCube which recently revealed a flux of neutrinos reaching the earth from deep in the cosmos, with energies more than a million times greater than those humans can produce in accelerators.


USD's College of Arts & Sciences offers students a top-notch undergraduate liberal arts education in the humanities, social sciences and sciences as well as graduate programs that have earned USD distinction as a research university by the Carnegie Foundation. The college's more than 22,000 alumni include famous journalists, Hollywood screenwriters, novelists, a Nobel Prize winner, South Dakota governors, attorneys, physicians, justices of the state Supreme Court, distinguished university faculty and international humanitarians.


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 84 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.


Hanna DeLange
USD News