Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

A Search for Astrophysical Ultra High Energy Neutrinos with the ANITA-IV Experiment
by Cao, Peng, Ph.D., University of Delaware, 2018, 181; 13425957
Abstract (Summary)

The Antarctic Impulsive Transient Antenna (ANITA) is a balloon-based experiment designed to search for ultra-high energy(UHE) neutrinos and cosmic rays in Antarctica. A successful detection would be an important step in understanding the most energetic cosmic accelerators in the universe. The fourth flight of ANITA (ANITA-IV) funded by NASA took place in December 2016. It uses a radio antenna array designed to detect Askaryan radiation from UHE neutrino-induced showers in ice and geomagnetic radiation from Extensive Air Showers (EAS) induced by cosmic rays.

In this dissertation, I present my analysis of the ANITA-IV flight data with the objective to search for ultra-high energy neutrino and cosmic ray events. The data analysis includes six major aspects: instrument calibrations, event direction reconstruction, event quality cuts, thermal events cut, anthropogenic events cut (clustering), and background estimation. Twenty-four cosmic ray candidates and one neutrino candidate events were found each with an estimated background of 0.34 event. Although the signal significance for a single neutrino event is consistent with background, it still leads to the world's best limit on the ultra-high energy neutrino flux for energy above 4 × 10 19 eV.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Clem, John, Seckel, David
Commitee: Decamp, Matthew, Li, Liao, Mullan, Dermott, Wissel, Stephanie
School: University of Delaware
Department: Physics and Astronomy
School Location: United States -- Delaware
Source: DAI-B 80/07(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Astrophysics
Keywords: ANITA, Antarctica, Balloon-based experiment, Data analysis, Ultra-high-energy cosmic ray, Ultra-high-energy neutrino
Publication Number: 13425957
ISBN: 9780438932197
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