South Pole Science Comes to UW-Richland

Contributed by University of Wisconsin-Richland

RICHLAND CENTER—You might think Wisconsin winters are tough, with the snow, cold and early sunsets. While that’s true, Wisconsin resident Jim Haugen escapes the winter here by traveling to a place that is sunny 24 hours a day but rarely gets over -10 degrees Fahrenheit: the South Pole in Antarctica.

On April 24, Haugen will be in Richland Center talking about what it’s like to work at the South Pole and how he helped build the IceCube Neutrino Observatory, one of the world’s largest and most interesting telescopes.

“It’s great to share this project with people,” says Haugen, who was responsible for making sure that the construction at the South Pole was completed on schedule. “It was such a success and Wisconsin people and companies contributed in a big way to make it happen.”

The April 24 campus and community events are part of a statewide program funded by the Ira and Ineva Reilly Baldwin Wisconsin Idea Endowment Foundation and Wisconsin IceCube Particle Astrophysics Center (WIPAC), a University of Wisconsin-Madison research center.

From 12 to 1 p.m., Haugen will give a talk in Pippin Conference Center/Melvill Hall at UW-Richland. Bring your lunch or enjoy refreshments that will be provided.

In the evening, Haugen will be back in the Pippin Conference Center at 7 p.m. for “Extreme South Pole Science,” a public, all-ages talk about how and why IceCube was built.

IceCube, a National Science Foundation project, looks for ghost-like particles called neutrinos, which can travel through the Earth easier than light goes through glass. The entire detector is built into the 2,800-meter-thick ice sheet at the South Pole.

It took more than a decade and the efforts of an international collaboration of scientists to design, test and build IceCube. The worldwide effort is rooted squarely in Wisconsin with key partners at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and staff and suppliers from around the state.

UW-Richland is located at 1200 Highway 14 West in Richland Center. For more information, call the UW-Richland Continuing Education Office at (608) 647-6186, ext. 227.

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