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University of Wisconsin–Madison

Radio Neutrino Detection Using Scalable Technologies to Lower Energy Thresholds

The existence of highly energetic neutrinos from astrophysical sources has been established by data from the IceCube Neutrino Observatory at the South Pole. Such neutrinos are unique among all known particles in their ability to carry information from the cores of distant high-energy phenomena, such as supermassive black holes, in the Universe. More recently, the IceCube Collaboration has expanded with the intent to propose a next generation neutrino observatory facility at the South Pole, known as IceCube-Gen2.

This project is integral to the planned large-scale IceCube Gen2 Neutrino Observatory and will explore the potential of a radio neutrino detection technique, the Askarayn radio detection method, for high-energy neutrinos leveraging advances from industry, namely from the cell phone sector. Using radio antennas to “listen” for the nanosecond (billionth of a second) radio transient produced in the ice, the technique is between 10 and 100 times less expensive per volume instrumented for the detection of neutrino-induced showers above 100 PeV than the previously used Cherenkov detection technique.

The next generation neutrino observatory would benefit from a hybrid deployment of instrumentation for future extensions to larger detectors. This project will explore scaling RF neutrino detectors to large but highly economical arrays extending the sensitivity of this radio technique to bridge the gap to optical detection. Such a detector will transform the field of neutrino astronomy from initial detections into a mature discipline.

Principal Investigator

  • Kael Hanson
    Professor of Physics and Director of WIPAC

Co-Principal Investigator

  • Albrecht Karle
    Professor of Physics and WIPAC Associate Director for Science

Co-Investigators

  • Michael Duvernois
    Senior Scientist at WIPAC and Research Professor of Physics Scientist
  • John Kelley
    Assistant Scientist at WIPAC

Collaborator

  • Thomas Meures
    Physicist and Engineer at WIPAC