Ultrahigh Energy Neutrinos and Cosmic Rays as Probes of New Physics


Cosmic high energy neutrinos are inextricably linked to the origin of cosmic rays which is one of the major unresolved questions in astrophysics. In particular, the highest energy cosmic rays observed possess macroscopic energies and their origin is likely to be associated with the most energetic processes in the Universe. Their existence triggered a flurry of theoretical explanations ranging from conventional shock acceleration to particle physics beyond the Standard Model and processes taking place at the earliest moments of our Universe. Furthermore, many new experimental activities promise a considerable increase of statistics at the highest energies and a combination with gamma-ray and neutrino astrophysics will put strong constraints on these theoretical models. The detection of ultra high energy neutrinos in particular is made likely by new experimental techniques and will open an important new channel. We give an overview over this quickly evolving field with special emphasize on new experimental ideas and possibilities for probing new physics beyond the electroweak scale.Comment: 44 latex pages, 8 postscript figures included; based on lectures given at summer schools in Kopenhagen and Parma (2001). for reviews see also

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