The research describecl in this proposal will be carriecl out within the Uppsala University group of the AMANDA collaboration, headed by professor H. Rubinstein. AMANDA (Antartic Muon And Neutrino Detector Array) is a multi-purpose neutrino detector designed to work using the Antarctic ice as Cerenkov radiator. Currently AMANDA is a collaboration between groups from UC (Berkeley), UC (Irvine), Stockholm University, Uppsala University, University of Wisconsin and DESY. The main physics programme of AMANDA aims at searching the sky for astrophysical sources of high-energy (> TeV) neutrinos. The most interesting sources are the Active Galactic Nuclei (AGN) which are believed to be powered by supermassive black holes in their center. The turbulent shock regions generated by the accretion of surrounding matter into the black hole are supposed to be able to accelerate particles to enormous energies. Neutrinos would be produced by pion decays, which are copiously produced in the violent events taking place in the AGN. The observation of neutrino fluxes from the direction of known AGN would provide an important input to our current understanding of the acceleration mechanism of high energy cosmic rays. AMANDA ha.s a.lso the possibility to observe low-energy neutrinos from Supernova,e explosions. AMANDA detects the upward-going muons coming from a neutrino intera.ction in the Earth through the Cerenkov radiation they emit when traversing the ice. The detector consists of several (currently 9) strings of optica.l modules (OM) deployed to a, depth between 1500-2U00 m. under the Antarctic ice cap. The muon tracks are reconstructed from the timing of arrival of signals to the different OMs. Currently AMANDA is in construction phase. A prototype of four strings with 20 OMs each was deployed cluring 93-94 a.t a. depth of 800-100 m. This prototype served to assess the viability of the pro,ject a.nd to measure the optical properties of ice at the mentioned depths. Further deployment of strings at 1500 m. followed in the austral summer 95-96 campaign. In case of joining the project I will participate in the current ongoing efforts to bring the detector to full operation. These include modeling the background sources and the precise study of the response of the detector. When the detector enters its systematic data taking phase I will participate in the data analysis and in the maintenance tasks (both in the ha.rdware a.nd software aspects) that a detector like AMANDA requires. High-energy neutrino astronomy is a promising new field where the first generation of large-scale "neutrino telescopes" are entering into operation soon (AMANDA, DUMAND) or will do in the nea.r future (NES'l'OR), opening a completely new window to observe the Universe.
Fields of science
- natural sciencescomputer and information sciencesdata science
- natural sciencesphysical sciencestheoretical physicsparticle physicsneutrinos
- natural sciencesphysical sciencestheoretical physicsparticle physicsleptons
- natural sciencesphysical sciencesastronomyastrophysicsblack holes
- natural sciencesphysical sciencesastronomystellar astronomysupernova