"What's Nu in Neutrino Astronomy?"
Thursday, 19th September 2019 (19:45 - 22:00)
"The value of neutrinos as messengers from the cosmos was recognised by the Royal Swedish Academic of Science with the award of the 2002 Nobel Prize in Physics to Ray Davis and Masatoshi Koshiba for pioneering the field of neutrino astronomy. From Davis's first measurements of solar neutrinos in the 1960s at the Homestake experiment to Koshiba's detection of neutrinos from Supernova 1987A in the Kamiokande-II detector, neutrino astronomy has already accomplished much. Recent years have proven rather exciting, with the first detection of high energy cosmic neutrinos from the IceCube observatory at the South Pole in 2012. IceCube followed on from that significant achievement by detecting neutrinos from a blazar in 2018 that were paired with optical observations -- a remarkable 'first' for multi-messenger astronomy! In this talk, I review the history of neutrino astronomy, present the recent observations from IceCube, and describe future discoveries that astronomical neutrinos have in store for us."
Speaker: Dr. Matthew Malek
Matthew may be the only physicist you ever meet who has gone SCUBA diving in a particle physics detector. After starting uni with the intention of a career in cognitive psychology, he accidentally got sidetracked in to particle physics. Matthew cut his professional teeth at the Kamioka Observatory in Japan, where he earned his doctorate by using the Super-Kamiokande experiment to hunt for relic neutrinos from ancient supernovae in the early universe. After completing his degree, Matthew continued to wander the far corners of the globe, studying ultra-high energy cosmic rays at the Pierre Auger Observatory in Argentina and then searching for dark matter in Italy’s Gran Sasso underground laboratory.
In 2006, he made Oxford his home, and in 2010 he returned to his first love: Neutrino research. When not probing the mysteries of the universe, Matthew can be found ringing church bells, running, swimming, cycling, or hiking. He is an avid theatre buff, and recently completed his long-term goal of seeing every one of Shakespeare’s plays performed live on stage.