University of Minnesota
School of Physics & Astronomy

Physics and Astronomy Calendar

Wednesday, November 19th 2014
3:35 pm:
Speaker: Albrecht Karle
Subject: The hunt for high energy neutrinos with IceCube - more evidence for their astrophysical origin
Refreshments served in Room 216 Physics after colloquium

The spectrum of cosmic rays includes the most energetic particles ever observed. The mechanism of their acceleration and their sources are, however, still mostly unknown. Observing astrophysical neutrinos can help solve this problem. Because neutrinos are produced in hadronic interactions and are neither absorbed nor deflected, they will point directly back to their source. The IceCube neutrino detector at the South Pole uses more than a billion tons of natural ice as a target for neutrino detection.I will discuss the searches for neutrinos at energies from 10^12 eV to beyond 10^15 eV with IceCube, which have provided the first evidence for a flux of neutrinos of trophysical. The data are consistent with an extragalactic neutrino flux, but there may be other contributions. This includes the detection of events with energies above 10^15 eV -- the highest energy leptons ever observed. I will review the recent findings obtained with IceCube as well as strategies underway that may help to shed more light on the origin of highest energy particles in the Universe.

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