The main objective of the IceCube neutrino telescope is to open a new observational window in astrophysics by detecting high-energy neutrinos of cosmic origin. Such observations will shed light on acceleration mechanisms of highly energetic cosmic rays and allow a mapping of their sources. The IceCube detector is still under construction, but in its current configuration, it already produces data of unprecedented quality. IceCube’s site is optimal to observe neutrinos coming from the Northern sky. We propose here to make the first attempt to observe the Southern sky as well in a single analysis, with the use of the “Deep Core” of IceCube, so to develop the first full sky neutrino telescope. Deep Core is a nested dense array at the center of IceCube that will be deployed during the next two austral summers. We will use the strings of IceCube surrounding Deep Core as a veto volume in order to reject the huge background from cosmic ray air showers that would completely mask the astrophysical neutrino signal. In addition to this veto capability, the denser instrumentation of Deep Core will result in a lower energy threshold than for IceCube (below the TeV), which is crucial for the study of many potential neutrino sources, in particular galactic objects. New reconstruction techniques will have to be developped and the performances of this unique detector established with simulations and with the first IceCube Deep Core data. The experience of the candidate in astroparticle physics, especially two years of post-doctoral research in the IceCube collaboration, will allow her to become quickly a leading element on these techniques, especially for the optimization of track vertex reconstruction and of the veto algorithms. The early involvment of the host group at MPI-K Heidelberg in the design of Deep Core and in the combined analysis of the data from IceCube and its predecessor, AMANDA, provide a perfect scientific framework for the development of this project.
Field of science
- /natural sciences/physical sciences/theoretical physics/particle physics/neutrinos
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