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高能理论论坛 (HETH-Forum)

Cosmic neutrinos: a new window into the extreme universe

by Donglian Xu (Shanghai Jiao Tong University)




报告摘要:In 2013, the IceCube Neutrino Observatory at the South Pole discovered an extragalactic high-energy diffuse neutrino flux, opening a new era for neutrino astronomy. However, the origin of this flux remains mostly unresolved to date. Identification of astrophysical neutrino sources would be the smoking evidence to unveil the century-long puzzle on origin of cosmic rays. Being neutral and interacting only weakly, the neutrinos produced in the deep cosmos can escape dense environments and travel unimpeded over cosmological distances, providing novel handles to explore the extreme Universe, test fundamental laws of nature and probe new physics beyond the Standard Model. To rapidly advance the nascent field of neutrino astronomy, next-gen neutrino telescopes with significantly enhanced sensitivities are needed. In this talk, I will overview the recent progress in neutrino astronomy, and discuss the development status of the TRDIENT project – a proposed neutrino telescope to be built in the depths of South China Sea.


Donglian Xu is a dedicated cosmic ghost messenger hunter. Her primary research focus revolves around exploring the extreme Universe using neutrinos as messengers, offering a unique perspective beyond traditional light-based observations. She initiated the TRIDENT neutrino telescope project (also known as "the Hai-Ling project”), a state-of-the-art observatory planned for construction in the depths of South China Sea. She serves as the spokesperson for this endeavor. In September 2021, she led a successful site scouting expedition, deploying custom-built equipment to a depth of 3.5 km in the South China Sea. This mission involved measuring the in-situ optical properties of seawater, affirming the suitability of the chosen location for the neutrino telescope. Leveraging these measurements, her team completed the conceptual design of TRIDENT, with the aim of significantly enhancing the sensitivity of existing neutrino telescopes. Currently, she is overseeing the construction of TRIDENT Phase-I, projected to commence operations in 2026 and will be the world's first neutrino telescope located near Earth's equator. She earned her PhD from the University of Alabama in 2015 and subsequently held a postdoctoral position at the University of Wisconsin-Madison from 2015 to 2018. During these periods, she was actively involved in the IceCube neutrino experiment located at the South Pole. In 2018, she became a T. D. Lee Fellow and associate professor of physics at the Tsung-Dao Lee Institute.