In the Cosmic Particle group, astro- and particle physics, ground- and space-based experiments, photon and neutrino observations are combined in a scientific program in order to address the following questions:
- How do astrophysical accelerators work?
- Where does the astrophysical neutrino flux come from?
- Do neutrinos have non standard properties, beyond standard oscillation?
- What is the mass hierarchy of neutrinos?
- Is the proton stable?
- Where and what is dark matter?
With our research we are part of the SFB1258 'Neutrinos and Dark Matter in Astro- and Particle Physics' at the Technical University of Munich.
On the 12th of July 2018 the IceCube Neutrino Observatory has announced the discovery of the first source of cosmic neutrinos. This is not only a great scientific achievement, but also giving first answers to the leading questions written above. The findings are published in two Science Papers 'Multimessenger observations of a flaring blazar coincident with high-energy neutrino IceCube-170922A' [here] and 'Neutrino emission from the direction of the blazar TXS 0506+056 prior to the IceCube-170922A alert' [here] (Also check our News section for more information).
Furthermore there is a video that has been produced in cooperation with the Technical University of Munich explaining the scientific details and significance of the findings for the entire field. In the second video below several leading researches of IceCube present the results from their perspective.
The group is involved in the following experiments:
- IceCube Neutrino Observatory: IceCube is the worlds largest neutrino telescope being able to measure very rare events of highly-energetic neutrinos from the GeV to the PeV range. As the first experiement it has recently found evidence for the existence of an astrophysical neutrino flux with yet unknown origin. An important task for the future is to resolve the riddle of the production sites of astrophysical neutrinos. Furthermore low energy events can be used in order to determine neutrino parameters such as the mass ordering, or the search for sterile neutrinos.
Vetoing atmospheric neutrinos in a high energy neutrino telescope (in Phys. Rev. D, 2009)
Evidence for High-Energy Extraterrestrial Neutrinos at the IceCube Detector (in Science, 2013)
Evidence for Astrophysical Muon Neutrinos from the Northern Sky with IceCube (in Phys. Rev. Lett., 2015)
All-sky Search for Time-integrated Neutrino Emission from Astrophysical Sources with 7 yr of IceCube Data (in The Astrophysical Journal , 2017)
- Beyond IceCube:
- PINGU (Precision IceCube Next Generation Upgrade) is an extension of the IceCube-DeepCore array. The main science goals is the measurement of the neutrino mass hierachy. Design study are on-going. See PINGU's Letter of Intent.
- MICA (Multi-Megaton Ice Cherenkov Array): proton-decay experiment at the South Pole. Feasibility study on-going.
- SVA: Surface Array for vetoing purposes. Conceptual design on-going.
- R&D: photon detector and calibration modules. At the moment we are developing a Precision Optical Calibration Module (POCAM) to be deployed at the South Pole.
Moreover, we also like to cross the borders of our science towards art. If you wonder how photons, cosmic rays or neutrinos could sound you can check this video here or click on cosmic ray, neutrino, photon, dark energy. (Disclaim: the sounds associated are purely a suggestive guess).
We further acknowledge the support from:
Cosmic Rays and Particle Physics, Thomas K. Gaisser, Ralph Engel and Elisa Resoni, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-0-521-01646-9
Fully updated for the second edition, this book introduces the growing and dynamic field of particle astrophysics. It provides an overview of high-energy nuclei, photons and neutrinos, including their origins, their propagation in the cosmos, their detection on Earth and their relation to each other. Coverage is expanded to include new content on high energy physics, the propagation of protons and nuclei in cosmic background radiation, neutrino astronomy, high-energy and ultra-high-energy cosmic rays, sources and acceleration mechanisms, and atmospheric muons and neutrinos. Readers are able to master the fundamentals of particle astrophysics within the context of the most recent developments in the field. This book will benefit graduate students and established researchers alike, equipping them with the knowledge and tools needed to design and interpret their own experiments and, ultimately, to address a number of questions concerning the nature and origins of cosmic particles that have arisen in recent research.
'Energy-laden neutrinos making their way to us from outer space must have originated in cosmic catastrophes that were more powerful than anything we could ever imagine here on Earth. As part of the IceCube project, TUM physicists are investigating various phenomena including the sources of such cataclysmic events in the heavens.'