skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Observations of the Askaryan Effect in Ice

Abstract

We report on the first observations of the Askaryan effect in ice: coherent impulsive radio Cherenkov radiation from the charge asymmetry in an electromagnetic (EM) shower. Such radiation has been observed in silica sand and rock salt, but this is the first direct observation from an EM shower in ice. These measurements are important since the majority of experiments to date that rely on the effect for ultra-high energy neutrino detection are being performed using ice as the target medium. As part of the complete validation process for the Antarctic Impulsive Transient Antenna (ANITA) experiment, we performed an experiment at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) in June 2006 using a 7.5 metric ton ice target, yielding results fully consistent with theoretical expectations.

Authors:
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
897729
Report Number(s):
SLAC-PUB-12286
hep-ex/0611008; TRN: US0701504
DOE Contract Number:
AC02-76SF00515
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Submitted to Physical Review Letters
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
43 PARTICLE ACCELERATORS; ANTENNAS; ASYMMETRY; CHERENKOV RADIATION; METRICS; NEUTRINO DETECTION; RADIATIONS; SALT DEPOSITS; SAND; SILICA; STANFORD LINEAR ACCELERATOR CENTER; TARGETS; TRANSIENTS; VALIDATION; Experiment-HEP,HEPEX, INST, PHYS

Citation Formats

Gorham, P.W. Observations of the Askaryan Effect in Ice. United States: N. p., 2007. Web. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.99.171101.
Gorham, P.W. Observations of the Askaryan Effect in Ice. United States. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.99.171101.
Gorham, P.W. Tue . "Observations of the Askaryan Effect in Ice". United States. doi:10.1103/PhysRevLett.99.171101. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/897729.
@article{osti_897729,
title = {Observations of the Askaryan Effect in Ice},
author = {Gorham, P.W.},
abstractNote = {We report on the first observations of the Askaryan effect in ice: coherent impulsive radio Cherenkov radiation from the charge asymmetry in an electromagnetic (EM) shower. Such radiation has been observed in silica sand and rock salt, but this is the first direct observation from an EM shower in ice. These measurements are important since the majority of experiments to date that rely on the effect for ultra-high energy neutrino detection are being performed using ice as the target medium. As part of the complete validation process for the Antarctic Impulsive Transient Antenna (ANITA) experiment, we performed an experiment at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) in June 2006 using a 7.5 metric ton ice target, yielding results fully consistent with theoretical expectations.},
doi = {10.1103/PhysRevLett.99.171101},
journal = {Submitted to Physical Review Letters},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Tue Jan 16 00:00:00 EST 2007},
month = {Tue Jan 16 00:00:00 EST 2007}
}
  • We report on observations of coherent, impulsive radio Cherenkov radiation from electromagnetic showers in solid ice. This is the first observation of the Askaryan effect in ice. As part of the complete validation process for the ANITA experiment, we performed an experiment at the Stanford Linear Accelerator Center in June 2006 using a 7.5 metric ton ice target. We measure for the first time the large-scale angular dependence of the radiation pattern, a major factor in determining the solid-angle acceptance of ultrahigh-energy neutrino detectors.
  • We report on further SLAC measurements of the Askaryan effect: coherent radio emission from charge asymmetry in electromagnetic cascades. We used synthetic rock salt as the dielectric medium, with cascades produced by GeV bremsstrahlung photons at the Final Focus Test Beam. We extend our prior discovery measurements to a wider range of parameter space and explore the effect in a dielectric medium of great potential interest to large-scale ultra-high-energy neutrino detectors: rock salt (halite), which occurs naturally in high purity formations containing in many cases hundreds of km{sup 3} of water-equivalent mass. We observed strong coherent pulsed radio emission overmore » a frequency band from 0.2-15 GHz. A grid of embedded dual-polarization antennas was used to confirm the high degree of linear polarization and track the change of direction of the electric-field vector with azimuth around the shower. Coherence was observed over 4 orders of magnitude of shower energy. The frequency dependence of the radiation was tested over 2 orders of magnitude of UHF and microwave frequencies. We have also made the first observations of coherent transition radiation from the Askaryan charge excess, and the result agrees well with theoretical predictions. Based on these results we have performed a detailed and conservative simulation of a realistic GZK neutrino telescope array within a salt dome, and we find it capable of detecting 10 or more contained events per year from even the most conservative GZK neutrino models.« less
  • We present the first direct experimental evidence for the charge excess in high-energy particle showers and corresponding radio emission predicted nearly 40 years ago by Askaryan. We directed picosecond pulses of GeV bremsstrahlung photons at the SLAC Final Focus Test Beam into a 3.5 ton silica sand target, producing electromagnetic showers several meters long. A series of antennas spanning 0.3 to 6GHz detected strong, subnanosecond radio-frequency pulses produced by the showers. Measurements of the polarization, coherence, timing, field strength vs shower depth, and field strength vs frequency are completely consistent with predictions. These measurements thus provide strong support for experimentsmore » designed to detect high-energy cosmic rays such as neutrinos via coherent radio emission from their cascades.« less
  • A procedure for monitoring the local age distribution of the Arctic sea ice cover is presented. The age distribution specifies the area covered by ice in different age classes. In the authors` approach, a regular array of grid points is defined initially on the first image of a long time series, and an ice tracker finds the positions of those points in all subsequent images of the series. These Lagrangian points mark the corners of a set of cells that move and deform with the ice cover. The area of each cell changes with each new image or time step.more » A positive change indicates that ice in a new age class was formed in the cell. A negative change is assumed to have ridged the youngest ice in the cell, reducing its area. The ice in each cell ages as it progresses through the time series. The area of multiyear ice in each cell is computed using an ice classification algorithm. Any area that is not accounted for by the young ice or multiyear ice is assigned to a category of older first-year ice. They thus have a fine age resolution in the young end of the age distribution, and coarse resolution for older ice. The age distribution of the young ice can be converted to a thickness distribution using a simple empirical relation between accumulated freezing-degree days and ice thickness, or using a more complicated thermodynamic model. They describe a general scheme for implementing this procedure for the Arctic Ocean from fall freeze-up until the onset of melt in the spring. The concept is illustrated with a time series of five ERS-1 SAR images spanning a period of 12 days. Such a scheme could be implemented with RADARSAT SAR imagery to provide basin-wide ice age and thickness information.« less
  • Ten 3D cloud-resolving model (CRM) simulations and four 3D limited area model (LAM) simulations of an intense mesoscale convective system observed on 23-24 January 2006 during the Tropical Warm Pool – International Cloud Experiment (TWP-ICE) are compared with each other and with observed radar reflectivity fields and dual-Doppler retrievals of vertical wind speeds in an attempt to explain published results showing a high bias in simulated convective radar reflectivity aloft. This high bias results from ice water content being large, which is a product of large, strong convective updrafts, although hydrometeor size distribution assumptions modulate the size of this bias.more » Making snow mass more realistically proportional to D2 rather than D3 eliminates unrealistically large snow reflectivities over 40 dBZ in some simulations. Graupel, unlike snow, produces high biased reflectivity in all simulations, which is partly a result of parameterized microphysics, but also partly a result of overly intense simulated updrafts. Peak vertical velocities in deep convective updrafts are greater than dual-Doppler retrieved values, especially in the upper troposphere. Freezing of liquid condensate, often rain, lofted above the freezing level in simulated updraft cores greatly contributes to these excessive upper tropospheric vertical velocities. The strongest simulated updraft cores are nearly undiluted, with some of the strongest showing supercell characteristics during the multicellular (pre-squall) stage of the event. Decreasing horizontal grid spacing from 900 to 100 meters slightly weakens deep updraft vertical velocity and moderately decreases the amount of condensate aloft, but not enough to match observational retrievals. Therefore, overly intense simulated updrafts may additionally be a product of unrealistic interactions between convective dynamics, parameterized microphysics, and the large-scale model forcing that promote different convective strengths than observed.« less