Searches for Sterile Neutrinos with the IceCube Detector

Journal: Physical Review Letters

Published: 2016-08-08

DOI: 10.1103/physrevlett.117.071801

Affiliations: 54

Authors: 300

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Research Highlight

Search for mysterious particle leaves physicists in the dark

© Stanislaw Pytel/DigitalVision/Getty

© Stanislaw Pytel/DigitalVision/Getty

Hypothetical particles that have so far eluded detection may not exist after all, according to a report published in Physical Review Letters.

An international team of physicists, which included researchers from the Moscow Engineering Physics Institute, examined data from the square-kilometre IceCube detector buried deep beneath the ice at the South Pole, but were unable to detect ‘sterile’ neutrinos. If they existed, these particles would help explain some gaps of the Standard Model of particle physics.

Neutrinos currently come in three types – electron, muon, and tau, but the failure to detect a fourth means that physicists are unable to resolve some perplexing riddles in particle physics, such as the origins of dark matter and the disparity between the amounts of matter and antimatter in the universe. After analyzing two years of data and over 100,000 neutrino events, the team found no evidence of the existence of the sterile neutrino and have concluded that it likely does not exist.

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  1. Physical Review Letters 117,071801 (2016). doi: 10.1103/physrevlett.117.071801
Institutions Share
University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-Madison), United States of America (USA) 0.12
German Electron Synchrotron (DESY), Germany 0.08
University of Maryland, College Park (UMCP), United States of America (USA) 0.04
Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU), Germany 0.04
University of Wuppertal, Germany 0.04
Interuniversity Institute for High Energies (IIHE), Belgium 0.04
Technical University of Munich (TUM), Germany 0.03
The Pennsylvania State University (Penn State), United States of America (USA) 0.03
Uppsala University (UU), Sweden 0.03
University of Delaware (UD), United States of America (USA) 0.03
TU Dortmund University, Germany 0.03
AlbaNova University Center - Stockholm Center for Physics, Astronomy and Biotechnology (AlbaNova), Sweden 0.03
University of Alberta (U of A), Canada 0.03
Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), Belgium 0.03
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), United States of America (USA) 0.03
Ghent University (UGent), Belgium 0.02
Michigan State University (MSU), United States of America (USA) 0.02
Chiba University, Japan 0.02
University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley), United States of America (USA) 0.02
Sungkyunkwan University (SKKU), South Korea 0.02
Ruhr University Bochum (RUB), Germany 0.02
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), United States of America (USA) 0.02
The University of Adelaide (Adelaide Uni), Australia 0.02
The Ohio State University (OSU), United States of America (USA) 0.02
University of Erlangen-Nuremberg (FAU), Germany 0.02
University of Copenhagen (UCPH), Denmark 0.02
State University of New York at Stony Brook (SUNY Stony Brook), United States of America (USA) 0.01
University of Geneva (UNIGE), Switzerland 0.01
The University of Alabama (UA), United States of America (USA) 0.01
Humboldt University of Berlin (HU Berlin), Germany 0.01
Southern University and A&M College, United States of America (USA) 0.01
Drexel University, United States of America (USA) 0.01
University of Wisconsin-River Falls (UWRF), United States of America (USA) 0.01
Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech), United States of America (USA) 0.01
RWTH Aachen University (RWTH Aachen), Germany 0.01
University of Münster (WWU), Germany 0.01
University of California, Irvine (UCI), United States of America (USA) 0.01
University of Bonn (Uni Bonn), Germany 0.01
Yale University, United States of America (USA) 0.01
University of Mons (UMONS), Belgium 0
University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA), United States of America (USA) 0
The University of Kansas (KU), United States of America (USA) 0
Clark Atlanta University (CAU), United States of America (USA) 0
University of Canterbury (UC), New Zealand 0
National Research Nuclear University MEPhI (Moscow Engineering Physics Institute), Russia 0
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM), United States of America (USA) 0
South Dakota School of Mines and Technology (SDSMT), United States of America (USA) 0
University of Toronto (U of T), Canada 0
University of Rochester (UR), United States of America (USA) 0
University of Oxford, United Kingdom (UK) 0

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