Grant: $986,000 - National Science Foundation - Sep. 1, 2009
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Award Description: The IceCube neutrino observatory was designed to detect high energy neutrinos from astrophysical sources and to search for indirect evidence of dark matter in the solar neighborhood. The observatory consists of a three dimensional array of photosensors buried deep in the Antarctic ice cap, with 40 of the planned 80 strings of sensors now deployed and operational. We are using data collected by IceCube to search for ultrahigh energy tau neutrinos. Tau neutrinos are produced when electron and muon neutrinos from astrophysical sources oscillate as they travel to us, but unlike electron and muon neutrinos, tau neutrinos are not produced in significant numbers in cosmic ray air showers in the Earth’s atmosphere. Tau neutrinos are thus essentially guaranteed to come from astrophysical sources, and observing even a few tau neutrinos would tell us a great deal about astrophysical accelerators of cosmic rays and neutrinos.
Project Description: We are developing techniques to identify the classic 'double bang tau events, at energies around 10 PeV, and also to search for tau neutrinos at lower energies, down to 100 TeV. We are also working to exploit the potential of IceCube to address a number of topics at lower energy, from 10 GeV to 1 TeV. We have led the design effort for the new Deep Core extension to IceCube, which will be deployed at the South Pole over the next two austral summers. Using IceCube and Deep Core, we will observe neutrino oscillations at higher energies than ever before, measure the spectrum of atmospheric electron neutrinos and observe the spectral break due to charm decay, search for sources of neutrinos in the Galactic plane, and search for dark matter in the Sun’s gravitational well. We will also enhance methods for rapid identification of possible neutrino bursts, which can be communicated to robotic optical telescopes to investigate the connection between supernovae and gamma ray bursts.
Jobs Summary: Nothing to report currently. (Total jobs reported: 0)
Project Status: Less Than 50% Completed
This award's data was last updated on Sep. 1, 2009. Help expand these official descriptions using the wiki below.