28 January 2016

Irene Tamborra and Jason Koskinen receive Villum Young Investigator Grants

Two members of the NBIA have received Young Investigator Grants from the Villum Foundation: newly hired Knud Højgaard Assistant Professor Irene Tamborra and Assistant Professor Jason Koskinen.

Irene Tamborraøs research field covers the theory behind astrophysical neutrinos, their production and how one can understand both their properties and the properties of the astrophysical objects such as supernovae that emit them. Neutrinos are almost massless and very weakly interacting elementary particles, copiously produced in various astrophysical environments. Escaping almost unimpeded, neutrinos carry information about these sites not otherwise accessible. Her project aims to adopt neutrinos as messengers for exploring as yet poorly understood extreme astrophysical phenomena and to shed light on the role of neutrinos in the source dynamics. The grant will allow the hiring of two postdocs and one Ph.D. student.

Jason Koskinen aims to make a world-leading precision measurement of the neutrino oscillation from muon flavor to tau flavor using the DeepCore low-energy sub-array of the IceCube Neutrino Observatory at the South Pole. The analysis will provide invaluable information on the unitarity of the neutrino mixing matrix and interpretations of a global suite of neutrino oscillation results that are in possible tension with the conventional 3-neutrino picture in the Standard Model. An ambitious detector extension that is being proposed for IceCube-DeepCore, known as PINGU, would dramatically improve the precision measurements of muon to tau neutrino oscillation and open the possibility to resolve the relative mass ordering of the underlying neutrino mass eigenstates.