Experimental Particle Astrophysics. Neutrino astronomy with IceCube.
Via unknown mechanisms, some astrophysical sources can accelerate particles up to ten million times more than human-made accelerators. These subatomic particles (electrons, protons, nuclei) are called cosmic rays and have energies as high as that of a tennis ball served by a professional player! Because cosmic rays, being charged particles, are deflected in galactic and extra-galactic magnetic fields, we still do not know where they come from. The same mechanisms that produce cosmic rays, result in the production of neutrinos which can be detected by IceCube.
IceCube is a very-high-energy neutrino telescope operating at the South Pole. IceCube monitors all the sky, all the time in search for neutrinos of astrophysical origin. In 2013, IceCube discovered very-high-energy astrophysical neutrinos and in 2017, IceCube identified a blazar (TXS 0506+056 or “Texas”) as a likely source of neutrinos. These are just two opening successes of the birth of hihg-energy neutrino astrophysics.
The Taboada group uses IceCube data to search for astrophyscal neutrinos from transient sources.