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22nd Kaczmarczik Lecture

Ice Fishing for Neutrinos

Francis Halzen, PhD
Hilldale and Gregory Breit Professor and Principal Investigator of IceCube, University of Wisconsin–Madison

Wednesday, November 14, 2018
1:00 p.m.

Main Building Auditorium, Drexel University Main Building
3141 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104


The IceCube project at the geographic South Pole melted eighty-six holes over 1.5 miles deep in the Antarctic icecap to construct an enormous astronomical observatory. The experiment recently discovered a flux of neutrinos reaching us from the cosmos, with energies more than a thousand times those of neutrinos produced at accelerator laboratories. These cosmic neutrinos are astronomical messengers coming from some of the most violent processes in the universe and from the biggest explosions since the Big Bang. Recently it was discovered that some high-energy neutrinos—and cosmic rays—originate from sources powered by rotating supermassive black holes.

Francis Halzen

Francis Halzen, PhD, Hilldale and Gregory Breit Professor at UW–Madison, is the principal investigator of IceCube, the world’s largest neutrino detector and a scientist studying problems that span the particle physics, astrophysics and cosmology communities. Halzen has served on various advisory committees, including those for the SNO, Telescope Array and Auger-upgrade experiments, the Max Planck Institutes in Heidelberg and Munich, the ICRR at the University of Tokyo, the US Particle Physics Prioritization Panel, and the ApPEC particle astrophysics advisory panel in Europe.

Among his recent honors are the Julius Wess Award in 2018; the Balzan Prize, and the European Physical Society Prize for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology in 2015; the Smithsonian American Ingenuity Award for Physical Sciences in 2014; the Physics World Breakthrough of the Year Award for making the first observation of cosmic neutrinos, the American Physical Society Highlights of the Year, and the University of Wisconsin Hilldale Award in 2013; and the International Hemholtz Award of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Germany in 2006. He was the International Franqui Professor, VUB-ULB-UGent-UMons-UA-ULg-KULeuven, Belgium (2013-14), and Affiliated Professor at Technical University Munich, Germany (2012), and holds honorary degrees from Southern Methodist University Ghent (doctor honoris cause, 2017), University in Belgium (doctor honoris causa, 2013) and Uppsala University (doctor of philosophy honoris causa, 2005). He became a Fellow of the American Physical Society in 1996.


About the Kaczmarczik Lecture

Paul Kaczmarczik began his career as a professor of physics at Drexel University in 1953. A key player in building the Physics and Atmospheric Science Department, he made important contributions to teaching at Drexel University during his many years of service. Well-liked by both his colleagues and his students, Professor Kaczmarczik became Professor Emeritus in 1989. The Kaczmarczik Lecture Series was established in 1995 in honor of Professor Kaczmarczik. It brings to Drexel outstanding scientists to present lectures on topics at the cutting edge of physics research.