Neutrinos are light, electrically-neutral elementary particles that make up the least-understood part of the Standard Model of particle physics. Facilities like DUNE (the Deep Underground Neutrino Experiment) study neutrinos produced in the Fermilab collider as well as neutrinos arriving from cosmic events. Project 8 will measure neutrino mass by looking at neutrinos emitted when tritium decays. The CMB Stage 4 telescopes will use cosmological data to constrain the number of neutrinos and their mass. Many other neutrino facilities focus on detecting neutrinos produced in astrophysical processes, including ANITA, ARA, BEACON, GRAND, IceCube, PUEO, and RNO-G. These cosmic neutrinos can carry key information, along with electromagnetic radiation and gravitational waves, in "multi-messenger" detections of dynamic events in the universe.

IGC members who study Neutrinos

NameRoleAffiliationEmailPhoneOffice AddressAffiliated Center(s) Research Topics(s)
Tyler Anderson Faculty Physics +1 814 865 2013 212A Osmond CMA Cosmic Rays, Dark Matter, Neutrinos, Multimessenger Astrophysics
Mukul Bhattacharya Postdoc Astronomy, Physics -- 320A Osmond CMA Multimessenger Astrophysics, Gravitational Waves, Neutrinos, Cosmic Rays
Carmen Carmona Benitez Faculty Physics +1 814 865 6476 320D Osmond CMA Dark Matter, Neutrinos
Jose Carpio Dumler Graduate Student Physics +1 814 865 7533 -- -- CMA Neutrinos, Multimessenger Astrophysics, Dark Matter
Douglas Cowen Faculty Physics +1 814 863 5943 303D Osmond CMA Dynamic Universe, Neutrinos, Multimessenger Astrophysics
Luiz de Viveiros Faculty Physics +1 814 865 7533 320E Osmond CMA Dark Matter, Neutrinos
Kayla DeHolton Postdoc Physics -- 303A Osmond CMA Neutrinos
Pedro Espino Postdoc Physics -- 320 Whitmore IGC Neutrinos, Gravitational Waves, Multimessenger Astrophysics
Derek Fox Faculty Astronomy +1 814 863 4989 425 Davey CMA, CTOC Dynamic Universe, Neutrinos, Multimessenger Astrophysics
Eduardo Gutiérrez Postdoc Physics +1 814 863 9605 301B Whitmore Lab IGC Black Holes, Multimessenger Astrophysics, Neutrinos, Gravitational Waves, Cosmic Rays
Peter Hammond Postdoc Physics +1 814 863 9605 307 Whitmore Lab IGC Neutrinos, Gravitational Waves, Multimessenger Astrophysics
Bryan Hendricks Graduate Student Physics 815-216-0835 204 Osmond Lab IGC Neutrinos
Kaeli Hughes Postdoc Astronomy, Physics +1 6142906343 N/A Davey Lab CMA Neutrinos, Cosmic Rays, Multimessenger Astrophysics
Ali Kheirandish Graduate Student Physics +1 814 865 7533 -- Davey Laboratory CMA Neutrinos, Multimessenger Astrophysics, Dark Matter
Daniel Kodroff Graduate Student Physics 0000000000 Basement Osmond Lab CMA Neutrinos, Dark Matter
Ryan Krebs Graduate Student Physics (814) 865-7533 322 Osmond Lab CMA, IGC Neutrinos, Multimessenger Astrophysics
Irina Mocioiu Faculty Physics +1 814 865 3721 320G Osmond CMA Neutrinos
Mainak Mukhopadhyay Postdoc Astronomy, Physics -- 320L Osmond Lab CMA Multimessenger Astrophysics, Gravitational Waves, Neutrinos
Kohta Murase Faculty Physics, Astronomy +1 814 863 9594 321B Osmond Lab CMA Cosmic Rays, Neutrinos, Multimessenger Astrophysics, Gravitational Waves, Dark Matter
Marco Muzio Postdoc Astronomy, Physics -- 322 Osmond Lab CMA Multimessenger Astrophysics, Neutrinos, Cosmic Rays
Peter Mészáros Faculty Physics, Astronomy 814-863-4167 504 Davey Laboratory CMA Gravitational Waves, Neutrinos, Multimessenger Astrophysics
Surendra Padamata Graduate Student Physics -- 322 Osmond Laboratory CMA Multimessenger Astrophysics, Black Holes, Cosmic Rays, Gravitational Waves, Neutrinos
David Radice Faculty Astronomy, Physics +1 814 865 7533 304 Whitmore CMA Black Holes, Neutrinos, Multimessenger Astrophysics, Gravitational Waves
Alireza Rashti Postdoc Physics +1 814 863 9605 314 Whitmore Lab IGC Black Holes, Dynamic Universe, Multimessenger Astrophysics, Mathematical Structures, Neutrinos, Physical Mathematics, Astrostatistics
Steinn Sigurdsson Faculty Astronomy +1 814 863 6038 426 Davey CMA Neutrinos, Black Holes, Multimessenger Astrophysics
Stephanie Wissel Faculty Astronomy, Physics +1 814 863 9598 303B Osmond CTOC, CFT, CMA Multimessenger Astrophysics, Cosmic Rays, Neutrinos
Chengchao Yuan Graduate Student Physics +1 814 865 0153 -- -- CMA Neutrinos, Multimessenger Astrophysics, Cosmic Rays
Andrew Zeolla Graduate Student Physics 7138709006 204 Osmond CMA Multimessenger Astrophysics, Neutrinos, Cosmic Rays
Andrew Ziegler Graduate Student Physics -- 6E Osmond Laboratory CMA Neutrinos

News about Neutrinos

Icecube Neutrinos Give First Glimpse Into the Inner Depths of an Active Galaxy


UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — For the first time, an international team including Penn State scientists has found evidence of high-energy neutrino emission from Messier 77, also known as NGC 1068, an active galaxy in the constellation of Cetus.

Neutrinos are fundamental particles with no charge and almost no mass, and they rarely interact with other matter. High-energy neutrinos — like those detected here with energies in the teraelectron volt (TeV), or trillion-electron volt, range — can travel for billions of light-years through space without being deflected or absorbed. Thus, while they are extremely difficult to detect, they can provide accurate information about the distant universe, especially when the information the carry can be combined with information from other cosmic signals in what is called “multimessenger” astronomy.

The detection was made by the IceCube Neutrino Observatory, a massive neutrino telescope encompassing one billion tons of instrumented ice at depths from 1.5 to 2.5 kilometers below Antarctica’s surface near the South Pole.

“IceCube is a veritable discovery machine,” said Doug Cowen, professor of physics and of astronomy and astrophysics at Penn State and a long-time IceCube collaborator. “The huge detector has lived up to its promise to launch the brand-new field of high energy neutrino astronomy, and then some, now by giving us glimpses behind a black hole’s black-out curtain of matter. IceCube has once again proved that when humanity points a new instrument at the heavens — starting with Galilleo’s first telescope — our knowledge of the universe around us increases by leaps and bounds.”

This unique telescope, which explores the farthest reaches of our universe using weakly interacting neutrinos instead of light, recorded the first observation of a potential source of high-energy astrophysical neutrinos in 2017. The source of these first observations is the known blazar TXS 0506+056, which is situated in the night sky just off the left shoulder of the constellation Orion and about 4 billion light-years from Earth.

Blazars are very luminous and distant active galaxies with a powerful, relativistic jet of particles pointing directly at us. Unlike NGC 1068, the blazar TXS 0506+056 had not been studied much before the multimessenger detection of neutrinos and high-energy electromagnetic radiation that allowed follow-up measurements by almost 20 telescopes around the world. Now, the observation of neutrino emission from a different type of active galaxy brings us closer to understanding the supermassive black holes powering them.

“One neutrino can single out a source. But only an observation with multiple neutrinos will reveal the obscured core of the most energetic cosmic objects,” said Francis Halzen, a professor of physics at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, the headquarters of the National Science Foundation (NSF)´s Antarctic neutrino facility, and principal investigator of IceCube. “IceCube has accumulated some 80 neutrinos of TeV energy from NGC 1068, which are not yet enough to answer all our questions, but they definitely are the next big step towards the realization of neutrino astronomy.”

The results appear Nov. 4 in the journal Science.

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