Scientific Colloquium
April 3, 2024,  3:00 P.M.
Building 3, Goett Auditorium

"Neutrino Astronomy, From Dream to Reality"

The Universe has been studied using light since the dawn of astronomy, when starlight captured the human eye. The IceCube Neutrino Observatory, located at the geographic South Pole, observes the Universe in a different and unique way: in high-energy neutrinos. IceCube's discovery in 2013 of celestial neutrino radiation started an era of neutrino astronomy. Searches for stars and galaxies responsible for creating such high-energy neutrinos have been ongoing for over a decade, while combating backgrounds in the detector that are many orders of magnitude higher than signal in rates. Last year, the first observation of our own Milky Way galaxy in neutrinos was announced, marking the start of Galactic neutrino astronomy. This talk will cover how this observation was made, other milestone observations by IceCube, and the state of neutrino astronomy.

About the Speaker:

Naoko Kurahashi Neilson is an Associate Professor in the Department of Physics at Drexel University. Her research centers on high-energy neutrinos, high-energy particle astrophysics and particle physics, with her main efforts in the IceCube South Pole Neutrino Observatory. Kurahashi Neilson earned her PhD at Stanford University by listening acoustically to extremely high-energy neutrinos in the Bahamian ocean. She is an NSF CAREER award recipient, featured in the Symmetry magazine story, Get to know 10 early-career experimentalists, and quoted in the New York Times as well as many popular press about the discovery of the Milky Way in neutrinos, an effort she led in 2023. She often gives public-facing talks about her research and is an advocate for diversity in physics.

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