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 FC WFC
Wisconsin IceCube Particle Astrophysics Center (WIPAC), UW-Madison, United States of America (USA) 0.11 0.11
German Electron Synchrotron (DESY), Germany 0.08 0.08
Institute of Physics (IPH), JGU, Germany 0.04 0.04
Department of Physics, UMCP, United States of America (USA) 0.04 0.04
Elementary Particle Physics (ELEM), IIHE, Belgium 0.04 0.04
Department of Physics, University of Wuppertal, Germany 0.04 0.04
TUM Department of Physics, Germany 0.03 0.03
Department of Physics, Penn State, United States of America (USA) 0.03 0.03
Faculty of Physics (FP), TU Dortmund, Germany 0.03 0.03
Department of Physics, U of A, Canada 0.03 0.03
Oskar Klein Centre for Cosmoparticle Physics (OKC), Sweden 0.03 0.03
Department of Physics and Astronomy, UU, Sweden 0.03 0.03
Bartol Research Institute, UD, United States of America (USA) 0.03 0.03
Faculty of Sciences, ULB, Belgium 0.03 0.03
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL), United States of America (USA) 0.03 0.03
Department of Physics and Astronomy (PA), MSU, United States of America (USA) 0.02 0.02
Department of Physics and Astronomy (WE05), UGent, Belgium 0.02 0.02
Department of Physics, Chiba University, Japan 0.02 0.02
Department of Physics, UC Berkeley, United States of America (USA) 0.02 0.02
Department of Physics, SKKU, South Korea 0.02 0.02
Faculty of Physics and Astronomy, RUB, Germany 0.02 0.02
MIT Department of Physics, United States of America (USA) 0.02 0.02
School of Physical Sciences, Adelaide Uni, Australia 0.02 0.02
Erlangen Centre for Astroparticle Physics (ECAP), FAU, Germany 0.02 0.02
Niels Bohr Institute (NBI), UCPH, Denmark 0.02 0.02
Department of Physics and Astronomy, SUNY Stony Brook, United States of America (USA) 0.01 0.01
Department of Physics and Astronomy, UA, United States of America (USA) 0.01 0.01
Department of Theoretical Physics, UNIGE, Switzerland 0.01 0.01
Department of Physics, HU Berlin, Germany 0.01 0.01
Department of Physics, Southern University and A&M College, United States of America (USA) 0.01 0.01
Center for Relativistic Astrophysics (CRA), Georgia Tech, United States of America (USA) 0.01 0.01
Department of Physics, UWRF, United States of America (USA) 0.01 0.01
Department of Physics, Drexel University, United States of America (USA) 0.01 0.01
OSU Center for Cosmology and Astro-Particle Physics (CCAPP), United States of America (USA) 0.01 0.01
OSU Department of Physics, United States of America (USA) 0.01 0.01
Institut für Kernphysik (IKP), WWU, Germany 0.01 0.01
Department of Physics, RWTH Aachen, Germany 0.01 0.01
Department of Physics and Astronomy, UCI, United States of America (USA) 0.01 0.01
Institute of Physics (PI), Uni Bonn, Germany 0.01 0.01
Yale Department of Physics, United States of America (USA) 0.01 0.01
University of Mons (UMONS), Belgium 0 0
Department of Physics and Astronomy, UAA, United States of America (USA) 0 0
Center for Theoretical Studies of Physical Systems (CTSPS), CAU, United States of America (USA) 0 0
National Research Nuclear University MEPhI (Moscow Engineering Physics Institute), Russia 0 0
Department of Physics and Astronomy, UC, New Zealand 0 0
Department of Astronomy, UW-Madison, United States of America (USA) 0 0
KU Department of Physics and Astronomy, United States of America (USA) 0 0
Department of Physics, UWM, United States of America (USA) 0 0
Department of Physics, SDSMT, United States of America (USA) 0 0
Department of Physics, U of T, Canada 0 0
Department of Physics and Astronomy, UR, United States of America (USA) 0 0
Department of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Penn State, United States of America (USA) 0 0
Oxford Department of Physics, United Kingdom (UK) 0 0
OSU Department of Astronomy, United States of America (USA) 0 0

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