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 leaders in the design, development, simulation, and analysis of data from experiments that look for ultra-high energy astrophysical and cosmogenic neutrinos through the radio emission that is made as a result of neutrino interactions on Earth. We contribute to major efforts in this field, including ANITA, ARA, BEACON, RNO-G, PUEO, and IceCube-Gen2.

Precision Measurements of CMB Polarization: We build telescopes that make precision measurements of the polarization of the CMB to learn about an inflationary period in the early universe and about the properties of neutrinos, among other things. We are deeply involved in the development of CMB-S4, a large-scale ground-based CMB expriment, collaborate on the BICEP series of experiments at the South Pole, and are part of the SPO Consortium.

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



Ongoing Projects



ANITA and PUEO

The ANITA experiment is a NASA long-duration balloon (LDB) experiment that detects the radio signals generated via the Askaryan effect from the highest energy neutrinos interacting in the Antarctic ice sheet. ANITA has had four flights (all successful!), and has placed world-leading constraints on the flux of the highest energy neutrinos. Members of our group have led neutrino search analyses and point source analyses, and we are involved in hardware development and deployment. We are now working on the development of PUEO, a proposed next-generation LDB mission that will take advantage of major technology advances to significantly improve the scientific reach at these highest energies.

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ARA

The ARA experiment is an in-ice radio detector for ultra-high energy neutrinos located at the South Pole. At Chicago, we have led the development and deployment of a new interferometric phased array trigger that has significantly improved instrument sensitivity. We deployed the first 8-channel system in January 2018, which is working stably and has achieved the improvement in sensitivity predicted by simulations. Members of our group are also working on improving the techniques used to analyze data from the ARA phased array system, to capitalize on the improvement in threshold achieved by the new trigger.

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RNO-G and IceCube-Gen2

We are involved in the design and development of RNO-G, an in-ice radio detector that we will deploy to Summit Station in Greenland beginning in Summer 2021. RNO-G builds on the succcess of ARA, and incorporates new interferometric phased array trigger technology. RNO-G will have the sensitivity required to discover ultra-high energy neutrinos, while also serving as a prototype for future (larger) detectors like IceCube-Gen2. Looking farther to the future, we are also involved in planning for IceCube-Gen2, which will incorporate a large radio array into the design.

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BEACON

BEACON is a mountainside radio detector concept that aims to detect radio emission from air showers created by tau leptons that are the result of the interaction of tau neutrinos in the Earth. We have helped design and develop an initial prototype system, which is located at Barcroft Station of the White Mountain Research Station in California.

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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SPO, and The BICEP Telescopes

The Keck Array and BICEP3 constitute 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, looking for the pattern imprinted on the CMB by gravitational waves created during Inflation.

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Select Recent Publications and News


SELECTED LATEST JOURNAL PUBLICATIONS

"Prospects for high elevation detection of >100 PeV Tau Neutrinos", arXiv:2004.12718 (2020)

"Design and Performance of an Interferometric Trigger Array for Radio Detection of High-Energy Neutrinos", NIM 930, 112-125 (2019)

"Constraints on the Diffuse Flux of Ultra-high Energy Neutrinos from Four Years of Askaryan Radio Array Data in Two Stations", submitted to PRD (2019)

"Constraints on the ultra-high energy cosmic neutrino flux from the fourth flight of ANITA", PRD 99, 122001 (2019)

"Superheavy Dark Matter and ANITA’s Anomolous Events", PRD 100, 4 (2019)

"Active Galactic Nuclei and the Origin of IceCube’s Neutrino Flux", JCAP 02(2019)012 (2019)

"Fundamental Physics with High-Energy Cosmic Neutrinos", Astro2020 Decadal Survey (2019), arXiv: 1903.04334

"Astrophysics Uniquely Enabled by Observations of High-Energy Cosmic Neutrinos", Astro2020 Decadal Survey (2019), arXiv: 1903.04334

"CMB-S4 Science Case, Reference Design, and Project Plan.", arXiv:1907.04473 (2019)

"BICEP/Keck Array X: Constraints on primordial gravitational waves using Planck, WMAP, and new BICEP2/Keck observations through the 2015 season", PRL 121:221301 (2018)

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

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

Research Scientist, Ph.D. MIT 2015.

Eric Oberla

Research Scientist, Ph.D. Chicago 2015.


Kaeli Hughes

Physics Graduate Student

Dan Smith

Physics Graduate Student

Dan Southall

Physics Graduate Student


Joalda Morancy

Geophysics and Astrophysics AB, UChicago '22.

Zach Curtis-Ginsberg

Physics AB, UChicago '22.


Alumni




Chris Sheehy

Now at Descartes Lab.

Keith Bechtol

Now an assistant professor at Wisconsin-Madison.

Jessica Avva

Now a Grad Student at UC Berkeley.

Nicole Larsen

Now an AAAS Science and Technology Policy Fellow.

Christopher Hughes

Former Undergraduate Student.

Sophia Kim

Now a Grad Student at University of Washington.

Jon Kyl

Now Doing Machine Learning at Unity Technologies.

John Bowen

Former Undergraduate Student.

Isaac Malsky

Now a Grad Student at University of Michigan.

Samantha Gilbert

Now a Grad Student at University of Washington.

Shoshana Chipman

Now a Grad Student at UChicago.

MaCheaux Ransom

Former Undergraduate Student.

Hawkins Clay

Now a Grad Student at UCSB.

Lily Liu

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 students from the local community. 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....


In Brian Keating's Podcast.

On CNN.

On Wired.

In Symmetry Magazine.

In Scientific American.

Again in Symmetry Magazine.

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 (undergraduates, graduate students, and postdocs)! Contact Abby (avieregg@kicp.uchicago.edu) if you're interested in working with us.