High-Energy Neutrino Astrophysics

  • Maurizio Spurio
Part of the Astronomy and Astrophysics Library book series (AAL)


Neutrino astronomy shares with γ-ray astronomy the objective of understanding the sources and mechanisms of CR acceleration. Due to their much larger interaction cross-section, γ-rays are easier to detect than neutrinos, but neutrinos can only be produced through hadronic processes. No single source, either galactic or extragalactic, has been conclusively proven to accelerate CRs up to PeV energies. Neutrino astronomy is expected to be decisive in the quest for CR sources. The idea of a large volume experiment for cosmic neutrinos based on the detection of the secondary particles produced in neutrino interactions was first formulated in the 1960s by M. Markov. He proposed: “to install detectors deep in a lake or in the sea and to determine the direction of the charged particles with the help of Cherenkov radiation”. Starting from the Markov idea, in this chapter we describe how the challenge of detecting galactic neutrinos is open for a multi kilometer-scale apparatus, deployed in the Antarctic ice or in deep seawater. At present a km3 detector (IceCube) is operating in the ice of the South Pole and another smaller underwater telescope (ANTARES) is running in the Mediterranean Sea, waiting for the Mediterranean km3 telescope (KM3NeT) and another detector in Lake Baikal. All of them are made up of a grid of optical sensors (photomultipliers). The recent first measurement of an astrophysical high-energy neutrino flux, opening the field of neutrino astronomy for the next decade, is also reported.


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maurizio Spurio
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Physics and Astronomy, and INFNUniversity of BolognaBolognaItaly

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