Exploring the Universe with Ultrahigh-Energy Neutrinos

Ultrahigh-energy neutrinos are a unique way to look deep into the most powerful cosmic-ray accelerators, learn about the Universe’s evolution, and search for new fundamental physics. Trinity is poised to open this new window to the Universe.

For thousands of years, learning about the Universe has been limited to the observation of light – electromagnetic radiation. Only over the last one hundred years did we learn to observe the universe across the entire electromagnetic spectrum from radio to very-high-energy gamma rays. And more recently by detecting gravitational waves, charged particles, and neutrinos. Combining these messengers reveals a Universe full of black holes, neutron stars, gamma-ray bursts, and many other violent and extreme objects. All these are believed to be powerful accelerators of charged particles. These so-called cosmic rays can have 100 million times more energy than the particles produced at the most powerful human-built accelerator, the LHC.

One of the last windows to the Universe to be opened is that of ultrahigh-energy neutrinos. Neutrinos are sub-atomic elementary particles that result when cosmic rays collide with other particles. Ultrahigh-energy means they are the neutrinos with the highest energies possible. That feature makes them one of the best tools to learn how cosmic rays can accelerate to their extreme energies and search for new fundamental physics, which should reveal itself at the highest energies.

Trinity is optimized for the detection of ultrahigh-energy neutrinos. Trinity will provide answers to outstanding questions in both astrophysics and particle physics. What are the most powerful particle accelerators in the Universe? How did the universe evolve? Is there new fundamental physics waiting to be discovered?