University of California-Irvine: Physics & Astronomy
Thursday, October 21, 2010
Refreshments: 3:30 pm in 219 JFB
Lecture 4:00pm (102 JFB)
Title: ARIANNA - A New Concept for the Detection of GZK Neutrinos
Dedicated high-energy neutrino telescopes based on optical Cherenkov techniques have been scanning the cosmos for about a decade. At TeV scales, limits on the diffuse flux have improved by several orders of magnitude, eliminating the most optimistic models that tend to be normalized to the extragalactic x-ray or gamma-ray luminosity. At higher energies, detectors using radio Cherenkov techniques have produced aggressive limits on the neutrino flux from diffusely distributed sources such as cosmogenic (or GZK) neutrinos generated by the GZK process, whose existence is relatively secure (it may be the gold standard of high energy neutrino predictions) but the expected flux is frustratingly small. To substantially improve the experimental capabilities at the very highest energies, new techniques are required. I will describe a new concept for the next generation of astrophysical neutrino detection, called ARIANNA, which takes advantage of unique geophysical features of the Ross Ice Shelf in Antarctica. ARIANNA is designed to improve the sensitivity to neutrinos with energies in excess of 10^17 eV by at least a factor of 10.
This talk will describe the physics motivation for ARIANNA, which includes the measurement of the GZK neutrino flux and search for non-standard particle physics. I will also present results from the first installed station at the ARIANNA site, and describe expansion plans that recently received NSF approval.