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‘Bringing the Universe to Wisconsin’ begins at UW–River Falls

November 26, 2012

It took seven years and the efforts of an international collaboration of scientists to turn the South Pole ice into the world’s largest, most innovative telescope: the IceCube Neutrino Observatory.

A Digital Optical Module in the IceCube array descends into the South Pole ice in December, 2010.

Photo: Robert Schwarz

A new outreach project is now bringing the benefits of this worldwide effort back to its Wisconsin roots.

IceCube is a Wisconsin-based project, with key partners at the University of Wisconsin–Madison and the University of Wisconsin-River Falls. Data from IceCube are already influencing how we understand the universe. The new project, called Bringing the Universe to Wisconsin, will share the excitement of the South Pole studies with the rest of the state.

Sponsored by the Ira and Ineva Reilly Baldwin Wisconsin Idea Endowment and spearheaded by the Wisconsin IceCube Particle Astrophysics Center (WIPAC), the project aims to visit every UW System school over the next two years, providing public education opportunities on campus and in the community.

“This project is a wonderful opportunity for Wisconsin communities to meet with the people that worked to create this unique observatory. Wisconsin companies were major suppliers for IceCube construction and many of the researchers, engineers, students and staff come from Wisconsin,” says WIPAC Director Jim Yeck. “Now we are looking to reach out to new audiences across the state.”

The kickoff event will take place at UW-River Falls on Tuesday, Nov. 27 and Wednesday, Nov. 28. A full two days of activities, from “science pubs” to classroom visits, are planned to engage a variety of learners. Details can be found here.

Future events are planned on the UW campuses in Platteville on Jan. 29-30, 2013; Marathon County on March 14-16, 2013; and Eau Claire and Marshfield in October 2013. For more information about the program and upcoming events, visit the Bringing the Universe to Wisconsin website.

—Laurel Norris