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Nuclear and Particle Physics

Radio detection of neutrinos

by Christian Glaser (University of California, Irvine)

12167 (Ångstrom)



High energy neutrino astronomy is a powerful tool to study the high-energy universe. Neutrinos can escape dense source environments and point back to their sources with sub-degree accuracy. In particular, multi-messenger analyses that combine neutrino detection with electromagnetic (e.g. gamma ray) and gravitational-wave observations bears huge potential to probe the sources of neutrinos and cosmic rays. The detection of neutrinos is challenging because of their small flux and cross-section, and requires the instrumentation of huge volumes. High energy neutrinos (E > 1e16 eV) can be efficiently measured using the radio technique, and the cold Antarctic ice is an optimal target material. Before discussing the radio detection of neutrinos, I will briefly present the radio detection of cosmic rays, highlighting what we can learn from this mature field for neutrino detection. Then, I will report on the pilot neutrino detectors installed on the Ross ice shelf and at the South Pole, discuss how neutrinos can be measured with a radio detector and how their properties can be reconstructed from the short radio flash. At the end, I will present plans for a large-scale radio neutrino detector and discuss its prospects.
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