Speaker: Kaeli Hughes
Turning on the radio: the search for Astrophysical Neutrinos with the Askaryan Radio Array
Neutrinos offer a unique window into the ultra-high energy universe. Unlike cosmic rays, whose paths bend in the presence of magnetic fields, neutrinos are capable of traveling virtually unimpeded through the universe and point back to their sources. This makes detecting neutrinos a crucial next step in understanding the production mechanisms within the highest energy objects in the universe. In this talk, I will discuss the successes so far in detecting neutrinos above 10 PeV, with a specific focus on the Askaryan Radio Array (ARA), designed to detect the radio emission induced by ultra-high energy neutrinos that interact within the ice at the South Pole. The newest ARA station has been equipped with a phased array trigger, in which radio signals in multiple antennas are summed in predetermined directions prior to the trigger. In this way, impulsive signals add coherently, while noise likely does not, allowing the trigger threshold to be lower than a traditional ARA station. Early results on just a fraction of available data from this new system prove the feasibility of a low-threshold analysis.