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The Telescope in the Ice Reading with Mark Bowen
Join us at the Boston Sculptors Gallery for a reading from Mark Bowen, author of The Telescope in the Ice!
An account of a telescope that "is unlike any other telescope you've ever seen or heard of, a marvel of science "buried more than a mile deep in the ice at the geographic South Pole." Occupying a cubic kilometer under the ice at the South Pole is a huge instrument dubbed one of the "seven wonders of modern astronomy." It doesn't search for light like a telescope but rather ghostly subatomic particles called neutrinos that fill the universe. In this enthusiastic account of Project IceCube, physicist Bowen explains that nuclear reactions produce neutrinos. They gush from stars, the sun, and earthly reactors and accelerators. Billions pass harmlessly through your fingertip every second, often after passing through the Earth or across the universe. Almost nothing stops a neutrino, but the key word is "almost." An immense device operated by patient observers will occasionally detect one. All require massive shielding to keep out the far more common cosmic rays. After describing competing projects, many still in operation thousands of feet underground or deep under water, Bowen gets down to business with a hair-raising account of 20 years of misery at the South Pole as a team of physicists and engineers suffered, repeatedly failed, and eventually succeeded in drilling 60 holes a mile deep, lowering complex electronics, and letting the ice freeze around them. The instrument works; since Project IceCube's completion in 2010, a few dozen distant neutrinos have made themselves known. Infusing groundbreaking inquiry with the spirit of those who carry it out, Bowen delivers a tale that's part educational, part inspirational, and all adventure.
MARK BOWEN is a writer and physicist. He earned a bachelor's degree and a doctorate in physics at MIT and worked for a decade in the medical industry. Bowen has written for Climbing, Natural History, Science, Technology Review, and AMC Outdoors. He has been embedded in AMANDA and IceCube since 1998. He lives in Vermont. The Telescope in the Ice is his third book.
*PLEASE NOTE* This event takes place at the Boston Sculptors Gallery, located at 485 Harrison Avenue, Boston. Books provided by Trident Booksellers & Cafe will be available for purchase at the event.