Date of Degree
PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)
In the past decade there have been several attempts to detect ultra high energy (UHE) neutrinos by searching for radio ^Cerenkov bursts in terrestrial ice or the lunar regolith. So far these searches have yielded no detections, but the inferred flux upper limits have started to constrain physical models for UHE neutrino generation. This thesis is a description of the Radio EVLA Search for UHE Neutrinos (RESUN) experiment, aimed at further limiting isotropic and point-source production models. RESUN uses the Expanded Very Large Array (EVLA) configured in multiple sub-arrays of four antennas observing at 1.4 GHz pointed along the lunar limb to detect neutrino-induced Cerenkov bursts. No pulses of lunar origin were detected during a observing campaign totaling 250 hours, implying an upper limit to the differential isotropic neutrino flux dN/dE < 1 per km^2 per yr per sr at 90% confidence level for sources with energy (E) exceeding 10^21.2 eV and E dN/dE < 0.1 per km^2 per yr per sr for E > 10^22.5 eV. The isotropic flux upper limit is the lowest published for lunar searches and is inconsistent with extra-galactic and halo Z-burst models for neutrino generation. Further, RESUN establishes 90% confidence differential flux limits for 41 AGN sources within 50 Mpc which were located along the lunar celestial path.
Copyright 2010 Theodore Robert Jaeger