A dispatch from Antarctica

Casey O'Hara, a high school physics teacher in California, has spent the last month chasing neutrinos around Antarctica.

Ever fantasize about the solitude of the South Pole, chasing neutrinos and hanging out under a sun that never sets (actually barely moves)?

Take a trip to Antarctica. Given the Copenhagen conference, Smart Planet and ZDNet blogger Andrew Nusca decided to catch up with a guy actually at the scene of all the hubbub---Antarctica. In Antarctica there aren't private jets, limos and politicians running around yapping about climate change, but there is a lot of science going on.

Andrew talked to Casey O'Hara, a high school physics teacher in California, who has spent the last month chasing neutrinos around. Neutrinos are a fundamental particle of the universe that pass through everything (including you).

A few highlights from the O'Hara interview:

  • Antarctica is a great place for neutrino research since they bleed off light when they hit the ice. Sensors attempt to catch neutrinos in action.
  • The weather---a balmy 13 degrees Fahrenheit on a summer day---isn't that bad in the sun. You can also get in shape from the thin air. Tip: Hang out in Antarctica for a month and sign up for a 10K race as soon as you get back.
  • The ban on chlorofluorocarbons appears to be helping the ozone layer heal.

You kind of envy O'Hara a bit even though the Internet access is terrible at times. But hey it's Antarctica: You aren't there to goof around on Facebook.


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