Date of Award

May 2016

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Luis A. Anchordoqui

Second Advisor

Valerica Raicu

Committee Members

Philip Chang, Patrick Brady, Xavier Siemens


Astrophysics, Cosmology, Icecube, Neutrinos, Particle Physics


With the success of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN, a new era of discovery has just begun. The SU(3)C x SU(2)L x U(1)Y Standard Model (SM) of electroweak and strong interactions has once again endured intensive scrutiny. Most spectacularly, the recent discovery of a particle which seems to be the SM Higgs has possibly plugged the final remaining experimental hole in the SM, cementing the theory further. Adding more to the story, the IceCube Collaboration recently reported the discovery of extraterrestrial neutrinos, heralding a new era in astroparticle physics. The collaboration was able to isolate 36 events in 3 years of data, with energies between 30 TeV < E < 2 PeV. These events are consistent with an isotropic distribution in the sky, and a purely atmospheric explanation of the data can be excluded at 5.7σ.

However, problems still exist. Cosmological observations concerning dark matter and the expansion rate of the Universe have shown us our picture of the basic constituents of the Universe and the interactions among them are not fully understood. In addition, the determination of the origin of high energy neutrinos has proven to be a quite formidable problem, with many possible candidates for sources. Motivated by the these problems, we study and impose constraints on a dark matter model, and consider the idea of starburts and Galatic microquasars as possible astrophysical sources for the high energy neutrino events observed at IceCube. In addition, dark matter decay is considered as a way to explain high-energy neutrino events and reconcile the tension between measurements of the Hubble constant by different observation methods.

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