University of Maryland
Perspectives of finding the sources of high-energy astrophysical neutrinos
The origin of astrophysical neutrinos remains a mystery. Growing statistics from the IceCube Observatory at TeV-PeV energies starts to reveal important features of the sources, yet the isotropic spacial distribution of the observed events implies that to detect point sources, both order-of-magnitude more statistics and more advanced search tools are needed. In light of these observational constraints and implications, we investigate the perspectives of finding the sources of high-energy neutrinos from both theoretical and experimental aspects. We first discuss the potential source classes of the IceCube neutrinos, with an emphasis on black hole jets in clusters of galaxies. Then from the analysis point of view we introduce a maximum-likelihood method for search of point-like sources utilizing event pairs. We show that when a decent angular resolution is available, this method is capable of reducing the statistical errors significantly comparing to the traditional search method using individual events. Finally by applying the new method we predict the ability of a future high-energy neutrino detector to identify the first neutrino point sources.