Sensitivity of the IceCube detector to astrophysical sources of high energy muon neutrinos

J. Ahrens, J. N. Bahcall, X. Bai, R. C. Bay, T. Becka, K. H. Becker, D. Berley, E. Bernardini, D. Bertrand, D. Z. Besson, A. Biron, E. Blaufuss, D. J. Boersma, S. Böser, C. Bohm, O. Botner, A. Bouchta, O. Bouhali, T. Burgess, W. CarithersT. Castermans, J. Cavin, W. Chinowsky, D. Chirkin, B. Collin, J. Conrad, J. Cooley, D. F. Cowen, A. Davour, C. de Clercq, T. DeYoung, P. Desiati, R. Ehrlich, R. W. Ellsworth, P. A. Evenson, A. R. Fazely, T. Feser, T. K. Gaisser, J. Gallagher, R. Ganugapati, H. Geenen, A. Goldschmidt, J. A. Goodman, R. M. Gunasingha, A. Hallgren, F. Halzen, K. Hanson, R. Hardtke, T. Hauschildt, D. Hays, K. Helbing, M. Hellwig, P. Herquet, G. C. Hill, D. Hubert, B. Hughey, P. O. Hulth, K. Hultqvist, S. Hundertmark, J. Jacobsen, G. S. Japaridze, A. Jones, A. Karle, H. Kawai, M. Kestel, N. Kitamura, R. Koch, L. Köpke, M. Kowalski, J. I. Lamoureux, H. Leich, M. Leuthold, I. Liubarsky, J. Madsen, H. S. Matis, C. P. McParland, T. Messarius, P. Mészáros, Y. Minaeva, R. H. Minor, P. Miočinović, H. Miyamoto, R. Morse, R. Nahnhauer, T. Neunhöffer, P. Niessen, D. R. Nygren, H. Ögelman, P. Olbrechts, S. Patton, R. Paulos, C. Pérez de los Heros, A. C. Pohl, J. Pretz, P. B. Price, G. T. Przybylski, K. Rawlins, S. Razzaque, E. Resconi, W. Rhode, M. Ribordy, S. Richter, H. G. Sander, K. Schinarakis, S. Schlenstedt, T. Schmidt, D. Schneider, R. Schwarz, D. Seckel, A. J. Smith, M. Solarz, G. M. Spiczak, C. Spiering, M. Stamatikos, T. Stanev, D. Steele, P. Steffen, T. Stezelberger, R. G. Stokstad, K. H. Sulanke, G. W. Sullivan, T. J. Sumner, I. Taboada, S. Tilav, N. van Eijndhoven, W. Wagner, C. Walck, R. R. Wang, C. H. Wiebusch, C. Wiedemann, R. Wischnewski, H. Wissing, K. Woschnagg, S. Yoshida

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410 Citations (Scopus)


We present results of a Monte Carlo study of the sensitivity of the planned IceCube detector to predicted fluxes of muon neutrinos at TeV to PeV energies. A complete simulation of the detector and data analysis is used to study the detector's capability to search for muon neutrinos from potential sources such as active galaxies and gamma-ray bursts (GRBs). We study the effective area and the angular resolution of the detector as a function of muon energy and angle of incidence. We present detailed calculations of the sensitivity of the detector to both diffuse and pointlike neutrino fluxes, including an assessment of the sensitivity to neutrinos detected in coincidence with GRB observations. After three years of data taking, IceCube will be able to detect a point-source flux of Eν2× dNν/dEν=7×10-9 cm-2s-1 GeV at a 5σ significance, or, in the absence of a signal, place a 90% c.l. limit at a level of Eν2×dNν/dEν= 2×10-9 cm-2 s-1 GeV. A diffuse E-2 flux would be detectable at a minimum strength of Eν2×dNν/dEν =10-8 cm-2-1 sr-1 GeV. A GRB model following the formulation of Waxman and Bahcall would result in a 5σ effect after the observation of 200 bursts in coincidence with satellite observations of the gamma rays.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)507-532
Number of pages26
JournalAstroparticle Physics
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • IceCube
  • Neutrino astronomy
  • Neutrino telescope

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics


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