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Searching for an Ultra High-Energy Diffuse Flux of Extraterrestrial Neutrinos with IceCube 40
Stockholm University, Faculty of Science, Department of Physics. (Elementarpartikelfysik)
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, monograph (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Neutrino astronomy has the potential to greatly improve our understanding of the high-energy universe. An unresolved, diffuse, flux of neutrinos is sensitive to the properties of the population of cosmic accelerators in the universe. Data from 2008 and 2009 collected with the IceCube in-ice detector in a 40-string configuration were searched for an all-flavor ultra high-energy diffuse flux of astrophysical neutrinos. Data were divided into three streams based on signal and background event topology. Robustness was prioritized and a good agreement between real and simulated background data was observed. The search was optimized to give a high sensitivity to a neutrino flux with energy spectrum E-2 and energy greater than 1 PeV. The data sample used in the search for signal had a live time of 345.7 days and the estimated background was 1.2 ± 0.5 events. Taking systematic and statistical uncertainties into account, the sensitivity ΦS was estimated at E2 ΦS = 1.15 · 10-8 GeV cm-2 s-1 sr-1 assuming a 1:1:1 ratio between neutrino flavors at Earth.

The full data sample was unblinded once the analysis procedure was fixed and approved by the IceCube collaboration. Three events survived the final filter level. The surviving events look like reasonable neutrino candidate events. Assuming a background only hypothesis, the probability of seeing three or more events is 10%. The resulting 90% confidence level upper limit ΦUL is the most strict to date with E2 ΦUL = 2.32 · 10-8 GeV cm-2 s-1 sr-1. The central 90% signal energy interval is 282 TeV to 214 PeV, and signal acceptance is distributed as 32% muon neutrinos, 39% electron neutrinos and 29% tau neutrinos.

Several models for a diffuse extragalactic neutrino flux were excluded.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Department of Physics, Stockholm University , 2011. , 162 p.
Keyword [en]
Neutrinos, UHE, diffuse, IceCube
National Category
Subatomic Physics
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-57169ISBN: 978-91-7447-290-5OAI: diva2:414498
Public defence
2011-06-08, sal FB42, AlbaNova Universitetscentrum, Roslagstullsbacken 21, Stockholm, 10:00 (English)
Available from: 2011-05-12 Created: 2011-05-03 Last updated: 2011-05-05Bibliographically approved

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