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    The highest energy neutrinos: first evidence for cosmic origin

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    Developments in neutrino astronomy have been to a great extent motivated by the search for the sources of the cosmic rays, leading at a very early stage to the concept of a cubic kilometer neutrino detector. Almost four decades later such an instrument, IceCube, is taking data and has produced the first evidence for a flux of high-energy neutrinos of cosmic origin. After a brief review of the history of the field, we will introduce IceCube and describe the first analysis of data taken with the completed instrument. The atmospheric neutrino flux cannot accommodate an excess of 28 neutrinos observed with energies above 60 TeV. We will briefly speculate on the origin of these events. Readers interested specifically in IceCube results may refer directly to section 3.Comment: 22 pages, 8 figures, Pontecorvo 201