Colloquium Halzen

Ciclo Colloquia DFA: "IceCube: Opening a New Window on the Universe from the South Pole"

23-01-2020 | 15:00 | Aula "A. Rostagni" - DFA - Padova

Relatore: Prof. Francis Halzen - Wisconsin IceCube Particle Astrophysics Center & Department of Physics, University of Wisconsin-Madison, U.S.A.

We will review the scientific motivation and the early R&D that eventually led the IceCube project to transform a cubic kilometer of natural Antarctic ice into a neutrino detector. The instrument detects more than 100,000 neutrinos per year in the GeV to 10 PeV energy range. Among those, we have isolated a flux of high-energy neutrinos of cosmic origin, with an energy density similar to that of high-energy photons and cosmic rays in the extreme universe. We recently identified their first source: on September 22, 2017, several astronomical telescopes pinpointed a flaring galaxy, powered by an active supermassive black hole, as the source of a cosmic neutrino with an energy of 290 TeV. Archival IceCube data subsequently revealed a flare in 2014 of more than a dozen neutrinos from the same direction. At a distance of four billion light-years, ten times further than the nearest such sources, accumulating evidence indicates that the first cosmic ray accelerator belongs to a special class of active galaxies that is responsible for the origin of the highest energy particles in the Universe.

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