I asked if my IceCube and ARA colleague Mike Richman (University of Maryland) could write up something for the meeting he was attending. Thanks much, Mike!
During the last week of August, the annual TeV Particle Astrophysics, or
TeVPA, conference was held in Irvine, CA. IceCube and neutrino astrophysics
were very well represented at the conference. The opening talk of the
conference was “Results from IceCube”, presented by Albrecht Karle .
After introducing our detector and its objectives, the PeV events and the 26
other High Energy Starting Events (HESE) were highlighted in some detail.
The HESE are a set of very bright events in which neutrinos interacted in
the ice within the instrumented volume of IceCube itself. So far, IceCube is
cautiously reporting this result as “evidence” for high-energy
extraterrestrial neutrinos. We need to analyze more data to reach the
standard “discovery” threshold of about a 1 out of 2 million chance that our
data is the result of an especially sneaky terrestrial background.
Nevertheless, the HESE are generating a lot of excitement in the community.
Later on Monday, the events were described in more detail by Claudio Kopper
, while Joanna Kiryluk  helped put them in context with a discussion
of other IceCube searches for cascade-like events. Ranjan Laha , a
non-IceCube theorist, presented an outsider’s perspective on common
questions about the HESE.
Also on Monday, Jake Feintzeig  presented results from IceCube searches
for neutrino point-sources, and I  presented results from searches for
neutrinos correlated with gamma-ray bursts. Ignacio Taboada  presented a
search for a correlation between gamma-ray bursts and the 28 HESE. No
neutrino signal was found in any of these searches; however, many models
suggest that if these neutrino sources exist, we will need to take data for
longer before we can see them.
On Tuesday, Shigeru Yoshida  and Aya Ishihara  discussed scenarios in
which the extremely high energy neutrino flux levels at IceCube can
constrain cosmological models. Serap Tilav  gave a provocative talk in
which she explored a fit for the cosmic ray composition using the spectrum
across all energies as measured by many experiments. On Thursday, Markus
Ahlers  discussed multi-messenger — gamma, neutrino and charged
particle — tests which could be used to identify the sources of the HESE.
During the conference, there were talks by IceCube and non-IceCube
researchers alike in which it was said that, in light of the HESE, we have
entered the era of neutrino astrophysics. And while IceCube is currently
leading the field, we are certainly not alone. TeVPA also featured talks on
ANTARES and KM3NeT , neutrino experiments in the Mediterranean sea, as
well as ANITA, EVA and ARA  and ARIANNA , which search for radio
emission from the highest energy neutrinos interacting in the South Pole
ice. There was even a talk  on the possibility of using ultra high
energy neutrinos to constrain the depth of outer ice layers on moons like
Europa. It’s an exciting time to be working in neutrino astrophysics!
All material presented at TeVPA 2013 is available here: TeVPA2013.
Individual talk URLs: