Identifying the Sources of High-Energy Neutrinos with Multi-Messenger Observations

The Helmholtz Young Investigator Group lead by Dr. Anna Franckowiak aims for the identification of the sources of high-energy neutrino detected by the IceCube neutrino Observatory. The first detection of a flux of high-energy neutrinos of cosmic origin opens a new window to the high-energy Universe. However, no siginificant cluster of neutrinos in space or time could be identified and the most pressing question in the young field of neutrino astronomy is: What are the sources of the observed neutrinos and what are the astrophysical processes within the sources that produce these neutrinos? We are aiming to probe transient neutrino source classes, including supernovae and tidal disruption events, in dedicated multi-messenger campaigns. We work with the optical survey instruments ASAS-SN and ZTF as well as the gamma-ray space telescope Fermi.

The group has an opening for a PhD position. Please contact Anna Franckowiak for further details.

Dr. Anna Franckowiak
Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron DESY
Platanenallee 6, D-15738, Zeuthen
Office 2A/03
Phone: +49 (0) 33762 7 7346
E-Mail: anna dot franckowiak at desy dot de

The Team

Dr. Anna Franckowiak (PI)

I am a staff scientist at DESY. My research is focused on multi-messenger astronomy and I am working with neutrino, optical and gamma-ray data.
During my PhD within the IceCube Collaboration I worked on probing the connection of jets, Supernovae and Gamma-Ray Bursts using TeV neutrinos. As a postdoc at the SLAC National Linear Accelerator Laboratory I studied the morphology and the spectrum of the Fermi bubbles and searched for gamma-ray emission from Type IIn supernovae using Fermi-LAT data as a member of the Fermi-LAT Collaboration.

Starting in January 2017 I am leading a Helmholtz Young Investigator Group at DESY Zeuthen. Our goal is to identify the sources of high-energy neutrinos in a multi-messenger approach combining IceCube neutrino data with optical survey data collected by ASAS-SN and ZTF.

Dr. Ludwig Rauch (postdoc)

I am a postdoc at DESY since August 2017 working on multi-messenger astronomy combining ZTF and IceCube data. During my PhD at the Max-Planck-Institut für Kernphysik in Heidelberg I was a member of the XENON collaboration which tries to directly detect dark matter with liquid xenon dual-phase time projection chambers. My work included the analysis of the combined science data of XENON100 to constrain the WIMP model as well as the construction and performance tests of the photomultiplier arrays of next generation experiment XENON1T.
At DESY I am working on a novel transient pipeline for ZTF allowing for data processing and event selection, designed to be automated and adaptive to manage the large number of expected transient detections. The pipeline will enable multiple analyses starting from target of opportunity observations for multi-messenger astronomy to a magnitude limited and complete transient catalogue.

Robert Stein (PhD Student)

Since July 2017 I've been a PhD student at DESY. I'm originally from London, and did my undergraduate studies at Imperial College. I completed my masters project, as part of an Erasmus Exchange, in the Astroparticle Physics group of the University of Hamburg. The thesis topic was Reconstruction of Heavy Cosmic rays using Cherenkov Light, giving me a background in Cherenkov Telescopes and Cosmic Rays. But I've now moved into the exciting field of high-energy neutrino physics and multi-messenger astronomy.
My research specialism is Tidal Disruption Events (TDEs), which can occur when a star passes close to a Super Massive Black Hole. If the Star passes between the tidal radius and the event horizon of the Black Hole, the star is torn into two halves. One half is accreted by the black hole, while the other half is ejected. The entire process can be highly luminous, allowing us to detect it on Earth. Though we have not observed many TDEs (so far less than 100 have been discovered), the ones we have found are extremely energetic. Though the physics mechanisms are not well understood, they are likely to be strong particle accelerators. This makes them an interesting potential candidate for the source of high energy neutrinos that we detect on Earth. My analysis is based on a multi-messenger approach, trying to correlate neutrinos from IceCube to TDE sources detected with telescopes (such as ASAS-SN or ZTF).

Relevant Publications

2017 · Anna Franckowiak · DESY · anna dot franckowiak at desy dot de