The Vieregg Lab

We build radio and millimeter wave experiments and use them for neutrino astrophysics and cosmology with the cosmic microwave background (CMB).

Radio Detection of Ultra-high Energy Neutrinos: We are developing an interferometric phased array trigger for radio detection of ultra-high energy neutrinos with the goal of increasing the sensitivity and lowering the energy threshold of such radio detectors. We also lead analyses that search for ultra-high energy neutrinos and cosmic rays in data from the ANITA experiment, and are applying analysis techniques that we have developed to data from the phased array system on ARA.

Precision Measurements of CMB Polarization: We collaborate on the Keck Array and BICEP3 experiments, which are a suite of telescopes that make precision measurements of the polarization of the CMB to learn about an inflationary period in the very early universe. We are also working on CMB-S4, a future large-scale, ground-based CMB experiment.

Scroll down to read more about research and news from the lab.



Ongoing Projects



ANITA

The ANITA experiment is a NASA long-duration balloon experiment that detects the radio signals generated via the Askaryan effect from ultra-high energy neutrinos interacting in the Antarctic ice sheet. The fourth flight of ANITA flew in December 2016 in Antarctica, with world-leading sensitivity to the highest energy neutrinos, and we are leading an analysis effort to search for ultra-high energy neutrinos and cosmic rays with ANITA data.

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ARA

The ARA experiment is a ground-based radio detector for ultra-high energy neutrinos located at the South Pole. In 2017-18, members of our group helped deploy 2 more ARA stations at the South Pole, bringing the total number of stations to 5. At Chicago, we are leading the development and deployment of a new interferometric phased array trigger that will improve instrument sensitivity dramatically. We deployed the first 8-channel system on the ARA experiment at the South Pole in January 2018, which is working stably and has achieved the improvement in sensitivity predicted by simulations. Over the next few years, we will scale up this technology to lower the energy threshold, lower the power consumption to make it compatible with autonomous configurations, and implement the technique on balloon-borne and ground-based experiments. We are also working on improving the analysis of data from the ARA phased array system, to capitalize on the improvement in threshold achieved by the new trigger.

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The Keck Array & BICEP3

The Keck Array and BICEP3 is a suite of telescopes at the South Pole that observes the microwave sky on degree angular scales to make precision measurements of the polarization of the Cosmic Microwave Background. The Keck Array and BICEP3 follow up on the detection of B-mode polarization by BICEP2, looking for the pattern imprinted on the CMB by gravitational waves created during Inflation. Between them, the Keck Array and BICEP3 currently observe at four frequencies (95, 150, 220, and 250 GHz).

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GNO

We are leading development efforts at Summit Station, Greenland to explore the site as a possible Northern hemisphere location for a radio detector for ultra-high energy neutrinos (the Greenland Neutrino Observatory — GNO). We have measured backgrounds and ice properties, and have deployed a prototype phased array system at Summit Station.

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CMB-S4

We are part of the CMB-S4 collaboration, a next-generation ground-based CMB experiment, which will target inflationary B-modes and B-modes on smaller angular scales to measure properties of neutrinos (among other science goals).

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Select Recent Publications and News


SELECTED LATEST JOURNAL PUBLICATIONS

"Measurements and Modeling of Near-Surface Radio Propagation in Glacial Ice and Implications for Neutrino Experiments", arXiv:1805.12576 (2018)

"Observation of an Unusual Upward-going Cosmic-ray-like Event in the Third Flight of ANITA", arXiv:1803.05088 (2018)

"Constraints on the diffuse high-energy neutrino flux from the third flight of ANITA", Accepted at PRD, arXiv:1803.02719 (2018)

"Dynamic Tunable Notch Filters for the Antarctic Impulsive Transient Antenna (ANITA)", NIM 894:47-55 (2018)

"Development Toward a Ground-Based Interferometric Phased Array for Radio Detection of High Energy Neutrinos", NIM 869:46-55 (2017)

"CMB-S4 Technology Book, First Edition", arXiv:1706.02464 (2017)

"BICEP2/ Keck Array VIII: Measurement of Gravitational Lensing from Large-Scale B-mode Polarization", ApJ 833:2 (2016)

"Characteristics of Four Upward-pointing Cosmic-ray-like Events Observed with ANITA", PRL 117, 071101 (2016)

"Keck Array VI: Improved Constraints on Cosmology and Foregrounds when Adding 95 GHz Data from the Keck Array", PRL 116, 031302 (2016)

"Accelerator Measurements of Magnetically-induced Radio Emission from Particle Cascades with Applications to Cosmic-ray Air Showers", PRL, 116, 141103 (2016)

"A New Technique for Detection of PeV Neutrinos Using a Phased Radio Array", JCAP 2016:02 (2016)

"An in situ measurement of the radio-frequency attenuation in ice at Summit Station, Greenland", Journal of Glaciology 61:229 (2014)

"BICEP2 2014 I: Detection of B-mode Polarization at Degree Angular Scales by BICEP2 ", PRL 112, 241101, (2014)


Our Team


Abigail Vieregg

Assistant Professor, Physics, Enrico Fermi Institute, KICP. Ph.D., UCLA, 2010.

CV . Publications . Polar Blog



Cosmin Deaconu

Postdoctoral Scholar, ANITA/ARA, Ph.D. MIT 2015.

Eric Oberla

Postdoctoral Scholar, ARA/ANITA, Ph.D. Chicago 2015.

Andrew Ludwig

Physics Graduate Student, ANITA/ARA


Kaeli Hughes

Physics Graduate Student, ANITA/ARA

Dan Smith

Physics Graduate Student, ANITA/ARA

Dan Southall

Physics Graduate Student, ANITA/ARA


MaCheaux Ransom

Physics AB, UChicago '19.

Hawkins Clay

Physics AB, UChicago '19.

Lily Liu

Physics AB, UChicago '21.


Alumni




Chris Sheehy

Now a Goldhaber Fellow at Brookhaven.

Keith Bechtol

Now an assistant professor at Wisconsin-Madison.

Jessica Avva

Now a Graduate Student at UC Berkeley.

Nicole Larsen

Now an AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow

Christopher Hughes

Former Undergraduate Student

Sophia Kim

Former Undergraduate Student

Jon Kyl

Former Undergraduate Student

John Bowen

Former Undergraduate Student

Isaac Malsky

Former Undergraduate Student

Samantha Gilbert

Former Undergraduate Student

Shoshana Chipman

Former Undergraduate Student


Outreach and Education



Abby volunteers for Astronomy Conversations at the Adler Planetarium, an opportunity for museum guests to ask science questions to working scientists. She also is developing a near-peer mentoring program in the UChicago physics department and is incorporating active learning techniques and computer programming into first-year physics courses as part of her work as a Cottrell Scholar.

Cosmin and Eric are both involved with the Space Explorers Program, directly working with urban youth. They also volunteer for the French-American Science Festival, which offers hands-on activities for students to explore a wide range of fields in science. Cosmin works with the Lifelong Learning program, a lecture series for older adults throughout Chicago, and with Astronomy Conversations at the Adler Planetarium.

Our lab was included in the University of Chicago - Advancing Research Through Diversity and Inclusion outreach video.


In The News

 

Our lab's work has been featured....


On The Kavli Foundation's webpage.

In Symmetry Magazine.

In Scientific American.

Again in Symmetry Magazine.

On PBS.

In a podcast from McGill.


Contact Us



Our lab is part of the Kavli Institute of Cosmological Physics in the new Eckhardt Research Center at the University of Chicago.

We can be reached at 773-834-2988 or things can be shipped to Abigail Vieregg, University of Chicago, 5640 S. Ellis Ave - ERC 429, Chicago, IL 60637.

We are always looking for new group members. Contact Abby (avieregg@kicp.uchicago.edu) if you're interested in working with us.