Daniel Southall’s PhD Thesis Defense

3:00–4:00 pm

Please Join us:

Daniel Southall's PhD Thesis Defense

Thursday, June 30, 2022 at 3:00 PM CDT


The field of experimental ultrahigh-energy (UHE) neutrino physics has seen significant expansion in the past decade, with ongoing developments towards new experiments such as the Beamforming Elevated Array for COsmic Neutrinos (BEACON) as well as the Radio Neutrino observatory in Greenland (RNO-G).  These experiments aim to probe production mechanisms by measuring the flux of astrophysical and cosmogenic UHE neutrinos, as well as to provide new information of neutrino cross sections at the highest energies.  I discuss my role in the development, deployment, and data analysis efforts for the BEACON prototype array, which was installed at Barcroft Station in California in 2018.  BEACON is designed to detect radio emission from upgoing air showers generated by ultrahigh energy tau neutrino interactions in the Earth. This detection mechanism provides a measurement of the tau flux of cosmic neutrinos. The BEACON prototype is at high elevation to maximize effective volume and uses a directional beamforming trigger to improve rejection of anthropogenic background noise at the trigger level.  In discussion of BEACON I present details of the radio frequency environment observed by the prototype instrument, and categorize the types of events seen by the instrument, including a likely cosmic ray candidate event.  In addition to BEACON I also discuss my work on RNO-G, which seeks to measure neutrinos above 10 PeV by exploiting the Askaryan effect in neutrino-induced cascades in ice.  I present work towards a robust Monte Carlo simulation which was used in the early planning stages of RNO-G.  I also discuss the RNO-G horizontally polarized antenna design and outline the prototyping and development process from which they are a result. 

Committee Members:

Abigail Vieregg (Chair)
Dan Hooper
Mel Schochet
Scott Wakely

Event Type

Thesis Defense

Jun 30