High-energy physics and particle astrophysics are very dynamical fields, with new data revealing evidence of physics beyond the standard model through neutrino oscillations, dark matter and dark energy. This project is aimed at advancing the theoretical understanding of such aspects of physics beyond the standard model and at maximizing the amount of information that can be obtained from the experimental data by considering new analysis frameworks and exploring new connections between different phenomena. A significant effort in high energy physics is dedicated to extending the evidence for neutrino oscillations that has accumulated over the past decade. As part of this effort, the PI plans to work on optimizing the next generation of neutrino experiments and developing a better framework for understanding the experimental data and its implications for theoretical models.
Theoretical model building is addressed by emphasizing connections between implications for different observables in neutrino physics, collider physics, astrophysics and cosmology. Correctly interpreting available data and testing the underlying physics is extremely important and will be addressed in the project in the context of the MiniBooNE experiment. The project also proposes novel uses of already existing data as well as of data from upcoming experiments. In particular, the plans discuss how the Ice Cube Deep Core array, which will observe neutrinos from the galactic center region and neutrinos from dark matter annihilation, can also be used for detailed studies of atmospheric neutrino oscillations.
Another research direction discusses high-energy neutrinos from astrophysical sources. The observation of such neutrinos could have profound implications for both high-energy physics and astrophysics. An exploration of possible high-energy neutrino signals and their interpretation is proposed, emphasizing the importance of flavor composition of the neutrino fluxes.
The broader impacts are as follows: High energy physics, astrophysics and cosmology and the questions they are trying to address are very exciting and capture the interest of a larger public, providing excellent outreach opportunities. Penn State University and the Pennsylvania Space Grant Consortium (PASGC) coordinate an annual series of summer Science Workshops for Educators aimed at secondary school teachers. In the past two years the PI has helped develop such a workshop in particle astrophysics. For the future the PI intends to continue organizing such summer schools. Using the feedback received from participants, the PI plans to improve the educational material and develop new interactive activities.
|Effective start/end date||8/15/09 → 7/31/13|
- National Science Foundation: $120,000.00