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  1. Abstract Cosmogenic radio-nuclei are an important source of background for low-energy neutrino experiments. In Borexino, cosmogenic $$^{11}$$ 11 C decays outnumber solar pep and CNO neutrino events by about ten to one. In order to extract the flux of these two neutrino species, a highly efficient identification of this background is mandatory. We present here the details of the most consolidated strategy, used throughout Borexino solar neutrino measurements. It hinges upon finding the space-time correlations between $$^{11}$$ 11 C decays, the preceding parent muons and the accompanying neutrons. This article describes the working principles and evaluates the performance of this Three-Fold Coincidence (TFC) technique in its two current implementations: a hard-cut and a likelihood-based approach. Both show stable performances throughout Borexino Phases II (2012–2016) and III (2016–2020) data sets, with a $$^{11}$$ 11 C tagging efficiency of $$\sim 90$$ ∼ 90  % and $$\sim $$ ∼  63–66 % of the exposure surviving the tagging. We present also a novel technique that targets specifically $$^{11}$$ 11 C produced in high-multiplicity during major spallation events. Such $$^{11}$$ 11 C appear as a burst of events, whose space-time correlation can be exploited. Burst identification can be combined with the TFC to obtain about the same tagging efficiency of $$\sim 90\%$$ ∼ 90 % but with a higher fraction of the exposure surviving, in the range of $$\sim $$ ∼  66–68 %. 
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  2. The origin of high-energy cosmic rays, atomic nuclei that continuously impact Earth’s atmosphere, is unknown. Because of deflection by interstellar magnetic fields, cosmic rays produced within the Milky Way arrive at Earth from random directions. However, cosmic rays interact with matter near their sources and during propagation, which produces high-energy neutrinos. We searched for neutrino emission using machine learning techniques applied to 10 years of data from the IceCube Neutrino Observatory. By comparing diffuse emission models to a background-only hypothesis, we identified neutrino emission from the Galactic plane at the 4.5σ level of significance. The signal is consistent with diffuse emission of neutrinos from the Milky Way but could also arise from a population of unresolved point sources.

     
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 30, 2024
  3. Abstract Galactic PeV cosmic-ray accelerators (PeVatrons) are Galactic sources theorized to accelerate cosmic rays up to PeV in energy. The accelerated cosmic rays are expected to interact hadronically with nearby ambient gas or the interstellar medium, resulting in γ -rays and neutrinos. Recently, the Large High Altitude Air Shower Observatory (LHAASO) identified 12 γ -ray sources with emissions above 100 TeV, making them candidates for PeVatrons. While at these high energies the Klein–Nishina effect exponentially suppresses leptonic emission from Galactic sources, evidence for neutrino emission would unequivocally confirm hadronic acceleration. Here, we present the results of a search for neutrinos from these γ -ray sources and stacking searches testing for excess neutrino emission from all 12 sources as well as their subcatalogs of supernova remnants and pulsar wind nebulae with 11 yr of track events from the IceCube Neutrino Observatory. No significant emissions were found. Based on the resulting limits, we place constraints on the fraction of γ -ray flux originating from the hadronic processes in the Crab Nebula and LHAASO J2226+6057. 
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  4. Abstract Using data from the IceCube Neutrino Observatory, we searched for high-energy neutrino emission from the gravitational-wave events detected by the advanced LIGO and Virgo detectors during their third observing run. We did a low-latency follow-up on the public candidate events released during the detectors’ third observing run and an archival search on the 80 confident events reported in the GWTC-2.1 and GWTC-3 catalogs. An extended search was also conducted for neutrino emission on longer timescales from neutron star containing mergers. Follow-up searches on the candidate optical counterpart of GW190521 were also conducted. We used two methods; an unbinned maximum likelihood analysis and a Bayesian analysis using astrophysical priors, both of which were previously used to search for high-energy neutrino emission from gravitational-wave events. No significant neutrino emission was observed by any analysis, and upper limits were placed on the time-integrated neutrino flux as well as the total isotropic equivalent energy emitted in high-energy neutrinos. 
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  5. Abstract

    High-energy tau neutrinos are rarely produced in atmospheric cosmic-ray showers or at cosmic particle accelerators, but are expected to emerge during neutrino propagation over cosmic distances due to flavor mixing. When high energy tau neutrinos interact inside the IceCube detector, two spatially separated energy depositions may be resolved, the first from the charged current interaction and the second from the tau lepton decay. We report a novel analysis of 7.5 years of IceCube data that identifies two candidate tau neutrinos among the 60 “High-Energy Starting Events” (HESE) collected during that period. The HESE sample offers high purity, all-sky sensitivity, and distinct observational signatures for each neutrino flavor, enabling a new measurement of the flavor composition. The measured astrophysical neutrino flavor composition is consistent with expectations, and an astrophysical tau neutrino flux is indicated at 2.8$$\sigma $$σsignificance.

     
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  6. Abstract IceCube, a cubic-kilometer array of optical sensors built to detect atmospheric and astrophysical neutrinos between 1 GeV and 1 PeV, is deployed 1.45 km to 2.45 km below the surface of the ice sheet at the South Pole. The classification and reconstruction of events from the in-ice detectors play a central role in the analysis of data from IceCube. Reconstructing and classifying events is a challenge due to the irregular detector geometry, inhomogeneous scattering and absorption of light in the ice and, below 100 GeV, the relatively low number of signal photons produced per event. To address this challenge, it is possible to represent IceCube events as point cloud graphs and use a Graph Neural Network (GNN) as the classification and reconstruction method. The GNN is capable of distinguishing neutrino events from cosmic-ray backgrounds, classifying different neutrino event types, and reconstructing the deposited energy, direction and interaction vertex. Based on simulation, we provide a comparison in the 1 GeV–100 GeV energy range to the current state-of-the-art maximum likelihood techniques used in current IceCube analyses, including the effects of known systematic uncertainties. For neutrino event classification, the GNN increases the signal efficiency by 18% at a fixed background rate, compared to current IceCube methods. Alternatively, the GNN offers a reduction of the background (i.e. false positive) rate by over a factor 8 (to below half a percent) at a fixed signal efficiency. For the reconstruction of energy, direction, and interaction vertex, the resolution improves by an average of 13%–20% compared to current maximum likelihood techniques in the energy range of 1 GeV–30 GeV. The GNN, when run on a GPU, is capable of processing IceCube events at a rate nearly double of the median IceCube trigger rate of 2.7 kHz, which opens the possibility of using low energy neutrinos in online searches for transient events. 
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  7. Abstract Gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) are considered as promising sources of ultra-high-energy cosmic rays (UHECRs) due to their large power output. Observing a neutrino flux from GRBs would offer evidence that GRBs are hadronic accelerators of UHECRs. Previous IceCube analyses, which primarily focused on neutrinos arriving in temporal coincidence with the prompt gamma-rays, found no significant neutrino excess. The four analyses presented in this paper extend the region of interest to 14 days before and after the prompt phase, including generic extended time windows and targeted precursor searches. GRBs were selected between 2011 May and 2018 October to align with the data set of candidate muon-neutrino events observed by IceCube. No evidence of correlation between neutrino events and GRBs was found in these analyses. Limits are set to constrain the contribution of the cosmic GRB population to the diffuse astrophysical neutrino flux observed by IceCube. Prompt neutrino emission from GRBs is limited to ≲1% of the observed diffuse neutrino flux, and emission on timescales up to 10 4 s is constrained to 24% of the total diffuse flux. 
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  8. The arrival directions of astrophysical neutrinos indicate point source neutrino emission from NGC 1068. 
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