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IceCube and the Dawn of High-Energy Neutrino Astronomy

Colloquium: Astronomy Colloquia | February 6 | 4 p.m. | 1 LeConte Hall


Kurt Woschnagg, Berkeley/SSL

Department of Astronomy


A century after the discovery of cosmic rays their origins remain shrouded in mystery. Thought to be produced in the most energetic astrophysical objects like supernova remnants, active galactic nuclei, and gamma ray bursts, cosmic rays are accelerated to energies up to tens of EeV. These processes should also produce high-energy neutrinos which could escape the dense environments of these sources and travel long distances unscathed, thus providing a new and unique probe to peer deeper into space and into the engines of these objects. The IceCube neutrino observatory deep in the ice at the South Pole is the first operating gigaton-scale detector for high-energy neutrinos. Since its completion in December 2010, IceCube has been accumulating data on cosmic-ray muons and neutrinos, setting limits on exotic phenomena, and now found the first evidence for a population of high-energy neutrinos of extraterrestrial origin.


rhelgens@astro.berkeley.edu, 510-642-5275