Invited Seminars

IIHE invited seminar: Chasing the Ghost Particle: Neutrino Astrophysics at the South Pole

by Dr Brian Clark (Michigan State University)

G/1-G.1.03 - J. Sacton (Building G)

G/1-G.1.03 - J. Sacton

Building G



Neutrinos, tiny ghostlike particles billions of times lighter than atoms, are unique messengers to the distant, high-energy universe. Unlike cosmic rays and gamma rays, neutrinos are chargeless and weakly interacting, and arrive from high redshifts undeflected and unattenuated. High-energy neutrinos (>PeV) also probe physics at energy scales unachievable with terrestrial accelerators. However, the neutrino's low cross-sections and low fluxes pose experimental challenges, and requires enormous detectors. In this talk, I will focus on the Askaryan Radio Array (ARA) experiment. ARA is a detector deployed deep (~200m) at the South Pole. It is designed to find high-energy neutrinos by looking for the radio light emitted in neutrino interactions with the ice. I will highlight some of the latest results from the instrument, including a search for ultra-high energy neutrinos which produced the most stringent limit by an in-ice radio detector. I will highlight our ongoing work to develop reconstruction algorithms and to study interesting properties of the ice itself, such as the attenuation length. I will conclude by briefly discussing prospects and plans for extensions to even larger next generation detectors, such as RNO-G and IceCube-Gen2.

Short bio: Dr. Brian Clark is currently an NSF Astronomy and Astrophysics Postdoctoral Fellow at Michigan State University, studying high-energy neutrino astrophysics. He mostly works on the IceCube and ARA experiments. He completed his PhD studies at The Ohio State University in 2019, where he was an NSF Graduate Research Fellow. Prior to this, he worked on high-energy X-ray astronomy at his undergraduate institution Washington University in St. Louis.



Organized by

Ioana Maris and Steven Lowette