High Energy Neutrinos from Gamma-ray Bursts: Recent Observations and Models

Open Access
Gao, Shan
Graduate Program:
Doctor of Philosophy
Document Type:
Date of Defense:
May 27, 2014
Committee Members:
  • Peter Istvan Meszaros, Dissertation Advisor
  • Peter Istvan Meszaros, Committee Chair
  • Irina Mocioiu, Committee Member
  • Douglas Cowen, Committee Member
  • James Kasting, Committee Member
  • Neutrino
  • High Energy Astrophysics
  • Particle Astrophysics
  • Gamma-ray Burst
  • IceCube
Neutrino astronomy began with the detection of solar neutrinos, supernova neutrinos (SN1987A) and more recently the 37 events in IceCube which are very likely to be an astrophysical origin. The result from IceCube is perhaps the most exciting discovery of the year 2013, capping a several decades long search. Various astrophysical candidates have been proposed as sources of high energy neutrinos, although the origin of the IceCube neutrinos remains a mystery. Gamma-ray bursts (GRBs), the most energetic explosions in the universe, were considered as the most promising source for high energy cosmic rays and neutrinos (with AGNs). However, a previous search of GRB neutrinos by IceCube surprised the GRB community with negative results, challenging the simple standard picture of GRB prompt emission which is called the \internal shock" model. In this thesis we give a closer investigation of this model as well as several leading alternative models. With a careful consideration of the particle physics and the model parameters we show that the previous negative result with GRB neutrinos is not surprising, and only those models with extremely optimistic parameters can be ruled out. We predict that GRBs are unlikely to be the sole sources of the IceCube events, but signals of GRB neutrinos may be detected in the near future, with the neutrino telescopes such as IceCube/DeepCore, KM3Net, ARA, ARIANNA, ANITA etc.