Very Large Volume Neutrino Telescopes: Where are We Now and Where are We Going?

Dr. Kael Hanson
Department of Physics
University of Wisconsin at Madison

The first part of this talk focuses on recent observations coming out of the IceCube Neutrino Observatory, an NSF Large Facility in operation at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station.  IceCube “opened a new window to the Universe” three years ago when the Collaboration released 28 high-energy neutrino events inconsistent with models of terrestrial origin at the 4 sigma level.  Now with over 50 such events, there is incontrovertible proof that IceCube sees a flux of astrophysical neutrinos.  The sources of these neutrinos remain mysterious, however, and may remain so until future facilities come online.  Construction activities for a kilometer-scale neutrino telescope in the Mediterranean have begun and are likely to result in a northern observatory online within a few years.  The IceCube Collaboration additionally seeks support from the NSF and its international network of funding agencies to extend the capabilities IceCube facility by an order of magnitude on the timescale of one decade.  The latter part will describe these activities and new technologies being pursued worldwide to equip the field of neutrino astrophysics with powerful new instruments capable of exploring the high-energy Universe.