Ultra-High Energy Neutrino Astrophysics

Our Universe is known to exhibit incredibly active and energetic phenomena: from ultra-high energy particle/photon emissions from the giant galaxy and the black hole to the burst of the high energy lights from mysterious objects known as the Gamma Ray Bursts. Even the moment of the Big Bang should be when all kind of extremely high energy particle productions took place. The Universe is NOT a space filled with silence. Exploring the high energy Universe is, however, not an easy mission. At the very high energies (PeV or higher), the Universe is opaque to high energy gamma rays originating from beyond the edge of our own galaxy, and where cosmic rays do not carry directional information because of their deflection by magnetic fields. In this regard, neutrinos have uniquely advantageous characteristics: they can penetrate cosmological distances in the Universe and their trajectories are not deflected because they have no electric charge. They carry information about extremely high energy (EHE) production processes, even in the early Universe. Neutrinos are able to provide us with informations of unexplored bands for astronomy, i.e., the high energy deep universe. The IceCube aims at opening and establishing a new astronomy with detecting high neutrinos from cosmos. The instrument may, for example, answer the question of whether the fascinating multi-TeV photons originating near the supermassive black holes of active galaxies are of hadronic or electromagnetic origin. IceCube will provide a totally novel viewpoint on the multi-messenger astronomy of Gamma Ray Bursts, which have been identified as a possible source of the highest energy particles in nature.
The IceCube is a a one-cubic-kilometer international high-energy neutrino observatory being built and installed in the clear deep ice below the South Pole Station. Using our Earth as a shield, it detects only neutrinos which can penetrating underground while other particles like photons and hadrons cannot. Its large size and the implemented advanced light sensors and electronics will enable us to see high energy neutrinos from cosmos which we believe play a fundamental role in high energy universe.

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Last modified: Wed Apr 16 14:11:53 JST 2003