IceCube and the Most Energetic Neutrinos in the Universe

The dream behind the neutrino telescope is to address the century-old question: where do cosmic rays come from? After seven years of construction, and based on more than a decade of previous experience with the AMANDA detector, the IceCube Neutrino Observatory became fully operational in May of 2011. Within the following year of data-taking, IceCube detected the two highest energy neutrino events ever observed. The energies, above 10^15 electron volts (1600 erg), begin to suggest that neutrino telescopes are for the first time seeing high energy neutrinos from beyond the solar system. The case has grown stronger this month as the IceCube collaboration has released more results showing that these events are, so to speak, the tip of the iceberg.

In this talk, I will briefly review the IceCube observatory and recent highlights, and then explain the latest results and their analysis, which has turned conventional thinking about neutrino telescopes upside down.