Neutrino Astronomy with IceCube and Beyond

Kevin J. Meagher on behalf of the IceCube Collaboration
The IceCube Neutrino Observatory is a cubic kilometer neutrino telescope located at the geographic South Pole. Cherenkov radiation emitted by charged secondary particles from neutrino interactions is observed by IceCube using an array of 5160 photomultiplier tubes embedded between a depth of 1.5 km to 2.5 km in the Antarctic glacial ice. The detection of astrophysical neutrinos is a primary goal of IceCube and has now been realized with the discovery of a diffuse, high-energy flux consisting of neutrino events from tens of TeV up to several PeV. Many analyses have been performed to identify the source of these neutrinos, including correlations with active galactic nuclei, gamma-ray bursts, and the Galactic plane. IceCube also conducts multi-messenger campaigns to alert other observatories of possible neutrino transients in real time. However, the source of these neutrinos remains elusive as no corresponding electromagnetic counterparts have been identified. This proceeding will give an overview of the detection principles of IceCube, the properties of the observed astrophysical neutrinos, the search for corresponding sources (including real-time searches), and plans for a next-generation neutrino detector, IceCube-Gen2.

IceCube Neutrinos Pass Flavor Test

The highest energy neutrinos ever recorded have a flavor distribution of neutrinos that is consistent with the particles having a cosmic origin.

Configuration of IceCube

Configuration of IceCube

The IceCube Neutrino Observatory at the South Pole is a large array of photodetectors buried in ice. In 2013, the instrument reported signals from the highest energy neutrinos ever observed. Now, two teams of researchers have independently estimated the type, or flavor, of these neutrinos. As opposed to an earlier analysis, these new results are consistent with the neutrinos coming from cosmically large distances. Further work may begin to probe the physics going on at the neutrino sources. Continue reading IceCube Neutrinos Pass Flavor Test

Neutrinos from outer space open new eye in the sky

Space neutrinos found in Antarctica (Image: Sven Lidstrom/NSF)

Space neutrinos found in Antarctica (Image: Sven Lidstrom/NSF)

Fancy seeing the sky in neutrino? Supermassive black holes and enormous stellar explosions may give up their secrets now thatneutrinos from space can be detected.

The South Pole IceCube neutrino observatory has seen a handful of ghostly high-energy neutrinos that almost certainly came from outer space, opening up the skies for neutrino astronomy.

“We are witnessing the birth of this field,” says Dan Hooper, a theoretical astrophysicist at Fermilab in Batavia, Illinois, who is not a member of IceCube.

Until now, the only space neutrinos definitively detected came from the sun and a 1987 supernova explosion in the Large Magellanic Cloud.

Last month, the IceCube collaboration published news of the detection of two high-energy neutrinos, each with an energy of about one petaelectronvolt. These neutrinos, discovered by accident a year ago and nicknamed Bert and Ernie, prompted the collaboration to go back and look at their data in more detail.

Flavour shift

The new analysis, reported today at the IceCube Particle Astrophysics symposium at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, has raised the stakes….


Cosmic-ray physics with IceCube

Configuration of IceCube

IceCube as a three-dimensional air-shower array covers an energy range of the cosmic-ray spectrum from below 1 PeV to approximately 1 EeV. This talk is a brief review of the function and goals of IceTop, the surface component of the IceCube neutrino telescope. An overview of different and complementary ways that IceCube is sensitive to the primary cosmic-ray composition up to the EeV range is presented. Plans to obtain composition information in the threshold region of the detector in order to overlap with direct measurements of the primary composition in the 100-300 TeV range are also described….
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