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Atmospheric and Astrophysical Neutrinos above 1 TeV Interacting in IceCube

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      Abstract

      The IceCube Neutrino Observatory was designed primarily to search for high-energy (TeV--PeV) neutrinos produced in distant astrophysical objects. A search for \(\gtrsim 100\)~TeV neutrinos interacting inside the instrumented volume has recently provided evidence for an isotropic flux of such neutrinos. At lower energies, IceCube collects large numbers of neutrinos from the weak decays of mesons in cosmic-ray air showers. Here we present the results of a search for neutrino interactions inside IceCube's instrumented volume between 1~TeV and 1~PeV in 641 days of data taken from 2010--2012, lowering the energy threshold for neutrinos from the southern sky below 10 TeV for the first time, far below the threshold of the previous high-energy analysis. Astrophysical neutrinos remain the dominant component in the southern sky down to 10 TeV. From these data we derive new constraints on the diffuse astrophysical neutrino spectrum, \(\Phi_{\nu} = 2.06^{+0.4}_{-0.3} \times 10^{-18} \left({E_{\nu}}/{10^5 \,\, \rm{GeV}} \right)^{-2.46 \pm 0.12} {\rm {GeV^{-1} \, cm^{-2} \, sr^{-1} \, s^{-1}} } \), as well as the strongest upper limit yet on the flux of neutrinos from charmed-meson decay in the atmosphere, 1.52 times the benchmark theoretical prediction used in previous IceCube results at 90\% confidence.

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      Most cited references 2

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      Evidence for High-Energy Extraterrestrial Neutrinos at the IceCube Detector

      We report on results of an all-sky search for high-energy neutrino events interacting within the IceCube neutrino detector conducted between May 2010 and May 2012. The search follows up on the previous detection of two PeV neutrino events, with improved sensitivity and extended energy coverage down to approximately 30 TeV. Twenty-six additional events were observed, substantially more than expected from atmospheric backgrounds. Combined, both searches reject a purely atmospheric origin for the twenty-eight events at the \(4\sigma\) level. These twenty-eight events, which include the highest energy neutrinos ever observed, have flavors, directions, and energies inconsistent with those expected from the atmospheric muon and neutrino backgrounds. These properties are, however, consistent with generic predictions for an additional component of extraterrestrial origin.
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        BL Lac Objects in the Synchrotron Proton Blazar Model

        We calculate the spectral energy distribution (SED) of electromagnetic radiation and the spectrum of high energy neutrinos from BL Lac objects in the context of the Synchrotron Proton Blazar Model. In this model, the high energy hump of the SED is due to accelerated protons, while most of the low energy hump is due to synchrotron radiation by co-accelerated electrons. To accelerate protons to sufficiently high energies to produce the high energy hump, rather high magnetic fields are required. Assuming reasonable emission region volumes and Doppler factors, we then find that in low-frequency peaked BL Lacs (LBLs), which have higher luminosities than high-frequency peaked BL Lacs (HBLs), there is a significant contribution to the high frequency hump of the SED from pion photoproduction and subsequent cascading, including synchrotron radiation by muons. In contrast, in HBLs we find that the high frequency hump of the SED is dominated by proton synchrotron radiation. We are able to model the SED of typical LBLs and HBLs, and to model the famous 1997 flare of Markarian 501. We also calculate the expected neutrino output of typical BL Lac objects, and estimate the diffuse neutrino intensity due to all BL Lacs. Because pion photoproduction is inefficient in HBLs, as protons lose energy predominantly by synchrotron radiation, the contribution of LBLs dominates the diffuse neutrino intensity. We suggest that nearby LBLs may well be observable with future high-sensitivity TeV gamma-ray telescopes.
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          Author and article information

          Journal
          2014-10-07
          2015-01-13
          1410.1749
          10.1103/PhysRevD.91.022001

          http://arxiv.org/licenses/nonexclusive-distrib/1.0/

          Custom metadata
          Phys. Rev. D 91, 022001 (2015)
          18 pages, 12 figures
          astro-ph.HE

          High energy astrophysical phenomena

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