Francis Halzen doesn’t see himself as a superhero. But Smithsonian magazine created a tribute in that spirit when it named him the winner of its American Ingenuity Award. It gave him a secret identity — Neutrino Man — and a comic-book-inspired write-up to honor his decades-long effort to build a giant neutrino telescope under the Antarctic ice. In 2014, the telescope known as Ice Cube yielded the first evidence of cosmic neutrinos — nearly massless high-energy particles thought to come from cosmic sources such as supernovae, black holes, and the violent cores of galaxies. The work opened a new field of astronomy, as the magazine noted, “potentially offering clues to the greatest remaining mysteries.”
Published in the Spring 2015 issue
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