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Neutrino Astrophysics

So far, observational exploration of the universe has been mostly restricted to electromagnetic radiation such as optical light, X-rays or gamma photons. Cosmic neutrinos from high energetic astrophysical sources, such as core collapse supernovae, gamma-ray bursts and active galactic nuclei, offer a new perspective on the Universe, as neutrinos are neither absorbed by intervening matter nor deflected by galactic or extra galactic magnetic fields. However, in order to detect these extremely rarely interacting particles huge detector volumes are necessary.

We are involved in IceCube, the first km3-scale neutrino telescope, which is located at the South Pole. IceCube's main aim is the detection of high-energy astrophysical neutrinos, however, the list of science pursued with IceCube is much larger, including searches for dark matter and studies of cosmic rays and atmospheric neutrinos.

The group's IceCube activities focus on:

  • Search for transient neutrino events, such as expected from Supernovae and gamma-ray bursts. We perform an online search at the South Pole and employ a network of optical telescopes for follow-up observations of selected neutrino events.
  • Search for electron neutrinos and tau neutrinos in IceCube. The signature are localized particle showers in the detector and we are developing reconstructions and selection criteria for these kind of events (in collaboration with DESY Zeuthen).
  • Novel detection techniques: We are studying the prospect of complementing IceCube/IceTop with a large radio surface air-shower array.


IceCube Neutrino Observatory