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IceCube Neutrino Observatory

MSU IceCube Group Photo

The IceCube Neutrino Observatory is the detector of its kind, designed to observe the cosmos from deep within the South Pole ice. IceCube uses a cubic kilometer — a billion tons — of the ice cap beneath the South Pole to detect neutrinos.

Neutrinos with energies beyond 1 PeV are produced in violent astrophysical sources such as active galactic nuclei, powered by matter accreting onto supermassive black hole. Lower energy neutrinos from the GeV to the TeV scale are produced by cosmic rays colliding with Earth’s atmosphere, allowing us to probe neutrino physics in ways complementary to long-baseline experiments like T2K, NOvA, and DUNE.

The MSU IceCube group is one of the largest in the IceCube Collaboration, with 5 faculty members, 2 engineers, 1 software engineer, 5 postdoctoral researchers, 12 graduate students, and 6 undergraduate researchers (as of summer 2021). We work in many areas of IceCube science, including searches for astronomical neutrino sources, measurements of the high energy astrophysical neutrino flux, and measurements of neutrino properties using atmospheric neutrinos. A particular focus is the application of machine learning methods to analysis of IceCube data, and several faculty and students are members of the CMSE department as well as Physics and Astronomy. We are also heavily involved in construction of the IceCube Upgrade, to be deployed at the South Pole in the austral summer of 2023/24, and of the planned IceCube-Gen2 Observatory.
Approximately 300 physicists from 53 institutions in 12 countries make up the IceCube Collaboration. The National Science Foundation (NSF) provided the primary funding for the IceCube Neutrino Observatory, with assistance from partner funding agencies around the world.