On the Properties of Ice at the IceCube Neutrino Telescope
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Science
The IceCube Neutrino Telescope is designed to detect high energy neutrinos with a large array of photomultiplier tubes placed deep within the Antarctic ice. The way that light propagates through the ice needs to be modelled accurately to enable the paths of charged particles to be reconstructed from the distribution of their Cerenkov radiation. Light travelling through even the purest of ice will undergo scattering and absorption processes, however the ice in which IceCube is embedded has optical properties that vary significantly with depth which need to be accurately modelled. Currently, simulation of the muon background using the current ice model is unable to fully replicate experimental data. In this thesis we investigate a potential method of improving on the current generation of ice models. We introduce thin, highly absorbing layers into the current description of the detection medium and investigate the effect on the simulation of muon tracks in IceCube. We find that better agreement between simulation and data can be seen in the occupancy of optical modules, through the introduction of such absorptive layers into the existing ice layers.