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Physics & Astronomy

Speaker: Stefan Westerhoff
University of Wisconsin at Madison

ASTRONOMY WITH NEUTRINOS: The IceCube Experiment at the South Pole

Wednesday, April 5, 2017
4:00 PM  to 5:00 PM

101  Brockman Hall for Physics
Rice University
6100 Main St
Houston, Texas, USA

Neutrinos are unique cosmic messengers that provide new ways to explore the Universe. The IceCube Neutrino Observatory, located in the ice sheet at the South Pole, is the largest operating neutrino detector in the world. The scientific missions of IceCube include such varied tasks as the search for sources of cosmic rays, the observation of Galactic supernova explosions, the search for dark matter, and the study of the neutrinos themselves. As neutral tracers of hadronic acceleration, neutrinos may offer a new and unique window into the problem of the origin of cosmic rays. IceCube has observed several extremely high-energy neutrinos with energies up to several PeV that cannot easily be explained by processes occurring in cosmic-ray showers in the Earth's atmosphere. These events represent the first evidence for a population of high-energy neutrinos of extraterrestrial origin. In this talk, I will discuss these results and give a general overview of the IceCube detector and its physics goals.

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