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Search for the Cosmic Ray Origin and Test of the Lorentz Invariance with the High Energy Neutrino Telescope IceCube

English title Search for the Cosmic Ray Origin and Test of the Lorentz Invariance with the High Energy Neutrino Telescope IceCube
Applicant Ribordy Mathieu
Number 114800
Funding scheme SNSF Professorships
Research institution Laboratoire de physique des hautes énergies 2 EPFL - SB - IPEP - LPHE2
Institution of higher education EPF Lausanne - EPFL
Main discipline Astronomy, Astrophysics and Space Sciences
Start/End 01.06.2007 - 31.05.2011
Approved amount 1'507'649.00
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All Disciplines (2)

Astronomy, Astrophysics and Space Sciences
Particle Physics

Keywords (7)

High Energy Neutrinos; Lorentz Invariance Violation Cosmic Rays; Origin; Galactic; Ultra High Energy; Neutrino Telescopes; Cosmic Ray Origin

Lay Summary (English)

Lay summary
Following the discovery of cosmic rays (CR) in 1912, the field of elementary particle physics was founded upon the identification of numerous particles (positrons, muons, ...). However, a century later the CR origin remain obscure.The prevalent paradigm posits the CR origin within cosmic accelerators, e.g. supernova remnants or active galactic nuclei. The interaction of the accelerated particles with the surrounding radiation fields produces a secondary neutrino flux. This leads to the possibility of performing astronomy by means of high energy (HE) neutrino messengers, which may provide the key at unlocking the mysteries of the CR origin.The first neutrino telescopes in operation opened a window on the Universe from the perspective of the HE neutrino. As yet no HE ET signal has been detected, but the progress in phenomenological understanding suggests that the detection of a signal of astrophysical/cosmological origin should be possible with larger scale HE telescopes. This consequently motivates new cubic kilometer projects such as the IceCube observatory currently under construction at the South Pole. These detectors can also be utilized to probe fundamental symmetries of Nature such as the Lorentz invariance by means of the atmospheric HE neutrino beam and the study of HE neutrino oscillations. This project arrives at a unique opportunity time window when the anticipated discovery potential of IceCube is greatest: IceCube will play a unique role in the coming years, scaling down the sensitivity to extra-terrestrial neutrinos and extending it to higher energy, accumulating atmospheric neutrino events and increasing the available statistics by nearly two orders of magnitude. Our team intends to contribute to analyses of HE neutrinos:1. We will explore for deviations from expectations due to the breaking of fundamental symmetries of Nature through the study of the atmospheric neutrinos, probe for first neutrino point sources and strive to discover the first ultra HE neutrinos, whose flux is guaranteed. 2. In the ultra HE regime, where new physics and extreme astrophysics phenomena could become manifest, the sensitivity of IceCube remains limited. Hence the following project incorporates R&D for radio and acoustic detection techniques. A future extension of IceCube with these techniques may eventually help delineate the ultra HE CR origin.In summary the project will significantly contribute to the study of two key topics from which arise some of the most stimulating questions of contemporary physics: the old and yet unresolved mystery of the CR origin and the remonstration of the absolute validity of Nature's fundamental symmetries.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

Responsible applicant and co-applicants


Associated projects

Number Title Start Funding scheme
133630 Search for the Cosmic Ray Origin and Test of the Lorentz Invariance with the High Energy Neutrino Telescope IceCube 01.06.2011 SNSF Professorships