Neutrino telescopes will open a new window to the Universe. Up to now, photons and cosmic rays have been the probes used to observe cosmic phenomena. However, there are important limitations for these messengers. Photons are absorbed by matter, the infrared radiation and the microwave radiation, so that they cannot reach us from very distant or very dense sources. Protons and nuclei are deflected by magnetic fields, so that directional information is lost. In this scenario, neutrinos arise like a promising new tool in the multi-messenger Astronomy because they are neutral, stable and only interact weakly. In order to detect cosmic neutrinos, very large detectors are needed. The major projects in this field are AMANDA, in the South Pole, and ANTARES and NE STOR in the Mediterranean Sea. AMANDA has provided important contributions to Astrophysics, such us the new limits to the neutrino flux. This collaboration has also shown that this kind of telescopes is feasible and has encouraged the planning of the next step: IceCube, which will be a larger (one cubic kilometre) and improved version of AMANDA. Several European institutes (from Germany, Sweden, Belgium and the U.K.) are active members of these Euro-American collaborations. ANTARES and NESTOR are European projects. Both experiments will deploy a neutrino telescope in the Mediterranean Sea to show the feasibility of detecting neutrinos undersea. As in the case of AMANDA, it is planned to go further in this way, with a cubic kilometre telescope, the KM3Net project. The work of the applicant will be twofold. He will analyse the data of AMANDA and will perform Monte Carlo simulations to establish the performances of IceCube. In this work, the experience of the researcher in ANTARES for four years will be extremely useful. On the other hand, AMANDA and IceCube will be an ideal training with a view at the return to the European neutrino telescopes ANTARES and KM3Net.
Call for proposal
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