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High energy neutrino astrophysics with amanda/icecube at the south pole


High energy processes in the universe are accompanied by an emission of neutrinos. Their detection on earth can be carried out with the use of underwater/ice Cherenkov detectors. Fundamental information on active galactic nuclei, gamma ray bursts as well as on dark matter can be extracted from the study of these neutrinos. The AMANDA neutrino telescope is the most sensitive high energy neutrino observatory operative. It is composed by strings of photomultipliers (PMTs) placed deep in the ice of the South Pole. PMTs, encapsulated in glass spheres, collect the Cherenkov light produced by neutrino induced muon or cosmic ray muons. The future of the experiment, named Ice Cube, will have an effective area of one square kilometer.

With the current technique, a significant amount of Cherenkov photons are lost owing to the optical properties of the PMT encapsulating glass. The development of a system capable to maximize the collection of the light is the object of the project here proposed. This can be obtained through the selection of a suitable wave length shifter (WLS) and through its integration with the encapsulated PMT. Via Monte Carlo simulations we propose also to study the impact of the hardware development on critical detector parameters like effective area, angular and energy resolution etc. and, more general, to estimate the improved sensitivity of Ice Cube to neutrino detection.

Funding Scheme

RGI - Research grants (individual fellowships)


15735 Zeuthen