Astrophysical Neutrinos from an meV to a PeV (without an MeV)
Tuesday 06 September 2016
to 14:00 at
Nathan Whitehorn (Berkeley)
In the 1960s, the first astrophysical neutrinos were detected by the Homestake experiment from the core of our sun at energies of a few MeV. This detection of MeV neutrinos from the Sun and the later detection of neutrinos from supernovae have had enormous impacts on our understanding of both particle physics and astrophysics, providing the first evidence for the unexpected non-zero mass of the neutrino, neutrino oscillations, the measurement of a large number of the terms of the neutrino mixing matrix, the first direct evidence for nuclear reactions in the Sun, and confirmation of the theory that supernovae occur by the collapse of a stellar core into a neutron star. Over the last few years, we have obtained the first high-significance evidence for the other two major types of astrophysical neutrinos, which promise to be as fruitful: the relic neutrino background produced in the Big Bang at energies of 10^-4 eV and neutrinos made in cosmic ray accelerators at 10^15 eV. I will discuss current experimental efforts to characterize both of these populations, principally with the South Pole Telescope and the IceCube Neutrino Observatory, what we hope to learn from them, and future directions from these recent discoveries.
(host: C. Finley)