EPJ Plus Highlight - Probing high-energy neutrinos with an IceCube

The IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole. Copyright: Stephen Richter, 2015. CC BY-NC-SA 3.0.

Studying a high-energy neutrino that was observed by the IceCube Neutrino Observatory at the South Pole and that is believed to be intergalactic in origin has yielded some intriguing ‘new physics’ beyond the Standard Model

The subatomic particles called neutrinos, are believed to be ubiquitous throughout the Universe but are very difficult to detect. Now, Moroccan astrophysicist Salah Eddine Ennadifi and his co-workers, published a paper in EPJ Plus that describes the first known observation of intergalactic, high-energy neutrinos and probes new neutrino-related physics beyond the Standard Model of Particle Physics.

Neutrinos are puzzling particles; they are similar in many ways to electrons, but have no charge and no, or a very tiny mass. Scientists have suggested many astrophysical bodies as neutrino sources, but only two such sources have been studied: our Sun, and a single supernova (Supernova 1987A).

Neutrinos interactions are rare and can only be observed in a large volume of transparent material, which in practice means water or ice. The IceCube Neutrino Observatory (or telescope) at the South Pole consists of a cubic kilometre of clear, pure and stable ice that acts as a neutrino detector.

In this paper, Ennadifi and his co-workers from Mohammed V University report the detection, by the IceCube telescope, of a high-energy neutrino that is associated with an astrophysical object called a blazar (a quasar with a relativistic jet). This is thought to have an energy of about 300 TeV (300 trillion electron volts) and the blazar associated with it is thought to be about 4 billion light years from Earth. If this is correct, it would fit the definition for a ‘truly astrophysical neutrino’.

High-energy neutrinos like this one, although very rare, are useful tools for studying so-called ‘new physics’ beyond the Standard Model. The researchers were able to give it an estimated mass, which itself goes beyond the Standard Model as that includes only massless neutrinos. They conclude that high-energy neutrinos from cosmic sources are likely to yield more ‘surprising’ insights and to our further revising our understanding of the forces of nature.

Belhaj, A., Douhou, K. & Ennadifi, S.E. Probing new physics scale from TXS 0506+056 blazar neutrinos. Eur. Phys. J. Plus 137, 568 (2022).

This was our first experience of publishing with EPJ Web of Conferences. We contacted the publisher in the middle of September, just one month prior to the Conference, but everything went through smoothly. We have had published MNPS Proceedings with different publishers in the past, and would like to tell that the EPJ Web of Conferences team was probably the best, very quick, helpful and interactive. Typically, we were getting responses from EPJ Web of Conferences team within less than an hour and have had help at every production stage.
We are very thankful to Solange Guenot, Web of Conferences Publishing Editor, and Isabelle Houlbert, Web of Conferences Production Editor, for their support. These ladies are top-level professionals, who made a great contribution to the success of this issue. We are fully satisfied with the publication of the Conference Proceedings and are looking forward to further cooperation. The publication was very fast, easy and of high quality. My colleagues and I strongly recommend EPJ Web of Conferences to anyone, who is interested in quick high-quality publication of conference proceedings.

On behalf of the Organizing and Program Committees and Editorial Team of MNPS-2019, Dr. Alexey B. Nadykto, Moscow State Technological University “STANKIN”, Moscow, Russia. EPJ Web of Conferences vol. 224 (2019)

ISSN: 2100-014X (Electronic Edition)

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