Walter Winter

University of Wuerzburg, Würzburg, Bavaria, Germany

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Publications (134)511.64 Total impact

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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We perform a three-parameter scan of the cosmic-ray proton flux to the latest (7-year) combined data of the Telescope Array experiment, which are consistent with a pure proton composition. That is, we include at the same time the source evolution, maximal energy and spectral index. We demonstrate that the full three-parameter fit leads to different qualitative conclusions compared to two-parameter scans of the parameter space frequently shown in the literature: it slightly favors a maximal energy cutoff coming from the sources over the GZK cutoff, together with hard injection spectra and a strong source evolution. We then derive the range of allowed cosmogenic neutrino fluxes corresponding to the region allowed by TA data. We find that the latest IceCube cosmogenic neutrino analysis challenges the cosmic ray proton dip model at more than the 95\% confidence level including any considered parameter combination. This is the first independent evidence against the proton dip model after the composition results measured in Auger.
    Preview · Article · Dec 2015
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    Walter Winter
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Modern proposed atmospheric neutrino oscillation experiments, such as PINGU in the Antarctic ice or or ORCA in Mediterranean sea water, aim for precision measurements of the oscillation parameters including the ordering of the neutrino masses. They can, however, go far beyond that: Since neutrino oscillations are affected by the coherent forward scattering with matter, neutrinos can provide a new view on the interior of the earth. We show that the proposed atmospheric oscillation experiments can robustly measure the lower mantle density of the earth with a precision at the level of 4-5 percent, including the uncertainties of the oscillation parameters and correlations among different density layers. While the earth's core is, in principle, accessible by the angular resolution, new technology would be required to extract degeneracy-free information.
    Preview · Article · Nov 2015 · Nuclear Physics B
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    Mauricio Bustamante · John F. Beacom · Walter Winter
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The flavor composition of high-energy astrophysical neutrinos can reveal the particle physics governing their production, propagation, and interaction. The IceCube Collaboration has published the first experimental determination of the ratio of each flavor to the total flux. We present, as a theoretical counterpart, new results for the full range of received flavor ratios for arbitrary flavor ratios in the sources. With just standard neutrino mixing, this range is quite small. Even when a broad class of new-physics effects is included, it remains surprisingly small. Our results will allow IceCube to more quickly identify when their measurements imply standard, new, or truly exotic physics.
    Preview · Article · Jun 2015 · Physical Review Letters
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We assessed whether type 1 diabetes (T1D) can be diagnosed earlier using a new approach based on prediction and natural history in autoantibody-positive individuals. Diabetes Prevention Trial-Type 1 (DPT-1) and TrialNet Natural History Study (TNNHS) participants were studied. A metabolic index, the T1D Diagnostic Index60 (Index60), was developed from 2-h oral glucose tolerance tests (OGTTs) using the log fasting C-peptide, 60-min C-peptide, and 60-min glucose. OGTTs with Index60 ≥2.00 and 2-h glucose <200 mg/dL (Ind60+Only) were compared with Index60 <2.00 and 2-h glucose ≥200 mg/dL (2hglu+Only) OGTTs as criteria for T1D. Individuals were assessed for C-peptide loss from the first Ind60+Only OGTT to diagnosis. Areas under receiver operating characteristic curves were significantly higher for Index60 than for the 2-h glucose (P < 0.001 for both DPT-1 and the TNNHS). As a diagnostic criterion, sensitivity was higher for Ind60+Only than for 2hglu+Only (0.44 vs. 0.15 in DPT-1; 0.26 vs. 0.17 in the TNNHS) OGTTs. Specificity was somewhat higher for 2hglu+Only OGTTs in DPT-1 (0.97 vs. 0.91) but equivalent in the TNNHS (0.98 for both). Positive and negative predictive values were higher for Ind60+Only OGTTs in both studies. Postchallenge C-peptide levels declined significantly at each OGTT time point from the first Ind60+Only OGTT to the time of standard diagnosis (range -22 to -34% in DPT-1 and -14 to -27% in the TNNHS). C-peptide and glucose patterns differed markedly between Ind60+Only and 2hglu+Only OGTTs. An approach based on prediction and natural history appears to have utility for diagnosing T1D. © 2014 by the American Diabetes Association. Readers may use this article as long as the work is properly cited, the use is educational and not for profit, and the work is not altered.
    Full-text · Article · Dec 2014 · Diabetes Care
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In the classical theory of gamma-ray bursts, it is expected that particles are accelerated at mildly relativistic shocks generated by the collisions of material ejected from a central engine. We consider neutrino and cosmic-ray emission from multiple emission regions since these internal collisions must occur at very different radii, from below the photosphere all the way out to the circumburst medium, as a consequence of the efficient dissipation of kinetic energy. We demonstrate that the different messengers originate from different collision radii, which means that multimessenger observations open windows for revealing the evolving GRB outflows. We find that, even in the internal shock model, the neutrino production can be dominated by emission from around the photosphere, i.e., the radius where the ejecta become transparent to gamma-ray emission. Possible subphotospheric contributions enhance the detectability. We predict a minimal neutrino flux per flavor at the level of E^2 J ~ 10^{-11} GeV cm^{-2} sr^{-1} s^{-1} for the contribution from beyond the photosphere, with a spectral shape similar to the original theoretical prediction. However, in striking contrast to earlier approaches, this prediction turns out to hardly depend on model parameters such as the Lorentz boost or the baryonic loading. This implies that the hypothesis that ultra-high-energy cosmic rays originate from GRBs can be more robustly tested.
    Preview · Article · Sep 2014 · Nature Communications
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: A facility that can deliver beams of electron and muon neutrinos from the decay of a stored muon beam has the potential to unambiguously resolve the issue of the evidence for light sterile neutrinos that arises in short-baseline neutrino oscillation experiments and from estimates of the effective number of neutrino flavors from fits to cosmological data. In this paper, we show that the nuSTORM facility, with stored muons of 3.8 GeV/c $\pm$ 10%, will be able to carry out a conclusive muon neutrino appearance search for sterile neutrinos and test the LSND and MiniBooNE experimental signals with 10$\sigma$ sensitivity, even assuming conservative estimates for the systematic uncertainties. This experiment would add greatly to our knowledge of the contribution of light sterile neutrinos to the number of effective neutrino flavors from the abundance of primordial helium production and from constraints on neutrino energy density from the cosmic microwave background. The appearance search is complemented by a simultaneous muon neutrino disappearance analysis that will facilitate tests of various sterile neutrino models.
    Full-text · Article · Apr 2014 · Physical Review
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    Jagdish C. Joshi · Walter Winter · Nayantara Gupta
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cosmic rays diffuse through the interstellar medium and interact with matter and radiations as long as they are trapped in the Galactic magnetic field. The IceCube experiment has detected some TeV-PeV neutrino events whose origin is yet unknown. We study if all or a fraction of these events can be described by the interactions of cosmic rays with matter. We consider the average target density needed to explain them for different halo sizes and shapes, the effect of the chemical composition of the cosmic rays, the impact of the directional information of the neutrino events, and the constraints from gamma-ray bounds and their direction. We do not require knowledge of the cosmic ray escape time or injection for our approach. We find that, given all constraints, at most 0.1 of the observed neutrino events in IceCube can be described by cosmic ray interactions with matter. In addition, we demonstrate that the currently established chemical composition of the cosmic rays contradicts a peak of the neutrino spectrum at PeV energies.
    Full-text · Article · Mar 2014 · Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society
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    Walter Winter · Julia Becker Tjus · Spencer R. Klein
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We discuss the acceleration of secondary muons, pions, and kaons in gamma-ray bursts within the internal shock scenario, and their impact on the neutrino fluxes. We introduce a two-zone model consisting of an acceleration zone (the shocks) and a radiation zone (the plasma downstream the shocks). The acceleration in the shocks, which is an unavoidable consequence of the efficient proton acceleration, requires efficient transport from the radiation back to the acceleration zone. On the other hand, stochastic acceleration in the radiation zone can enhance the secondary spectra of muons and kaons significantly if there is a sufficiently large turbulent region. Overall, it is plausible that neutrino spectra can be enhanced by up to a factor of two at the peak by stochastic acceleration, that an additional spectral peaks appears from shock acceleration of the secondary muons and pions, and that the neutrino production from kaon decays is enhanced. Depending on the GRB parameters, the general conclusions concerning the limits to the internal shock scenario obtained by recent IceCube and ANTARES analyses may be affected by up to a factor of two by secondary acceleration. Most of the changes occur at energies above 10^7 GeV, so the effects for next-generation radio-detection experiments will be more pronounced. In the future, however, if GRBs are detected as high-energy neutrino sources, the detection of one or several pronounced peaks around 10^6 GeV or higher energies could help to derive the basic properties of the magnetic field strength in the GRB.
    Preview · Article · Mar 2014 · Astronomy and Astrophysics
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    Alexander Merle · Stefano Morisi · Walter Winter
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: If the hints for light sterile neutrinos from short-baseline anomalies are to be taken seriously, global fits indicate active-sterile mixings of a magnitude comparable to the known reactor mixing. We therefore study the conditions under which the active-sterile and reactor mixings could have the same origin in an underlying flavour model. As a starting point, we use μ − τ symmetry in the active neutrino sector, which (for three neutrinos) yields a zero reactor neutrino angle and a maximal atmospheric one. We demonstrate that adding one sterile neutrino can change this setting, so that the active-sterile mixing and non-zero θ 13 can be generated simultaneously. From the phenomenological perspective, electron (anti)neutrino disappearance can be easily accommodated, while muon neutrino disappearance can vanish. Even the LSND results can be reconciled if the Majorana phases have very specific values. From the theory perspective, the setting requires the misalignment of some of the flavon vacuum expectation values, which may be achieved in an A 4 or D 4 flavour symmetry model using extra dimensions.
    Full-text · Article · Feb 2014 · Journal of High Energy Physics
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) have long been held as one of the most promising sources of ultra-high energy (UHE) neutrinos. The internal shock model of GRB emission posits the joint production of UHE cosmic rays (UHECRs, above 108 GeV), photons, and neutrinos, through photohadronic interactions between source photons and magnetically-confined energetic protons, that occur when relativistically-expanding matter shells loaded with baryons collide with one another. While neutrino observations by IceCube have now ruled out the simplest version of the internal shock model, we show that a revised calculation of the emission, together with the consideration of the full photohadronic cross section and other particle physics effects, results in a prediction of the prompt GRB neutrino flux that still lies one order of magnitude below the current upper bounds, as recently exemplified by the results from ANTARES. In addition, we show that by allowing protons to directly escape their magnetic confinement without interacting at the source, we are able to partially decouple the cosmic ray and prompt neutrino emission, which grants the freedom to fit the UHECR observations while respecting the neutrino upper bounds. Finally, we briefly present advances towards pinning down the precise relation between UHECRs and UHE neutrinos, including the baryonic loading required to fit UHECR observations, and we will assess the role that very large volume neutrino telescopes play in this.
    Preview · Article · Feb 2014 · AIP Conference Proceedings
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The Precision IceCube Next Generation Upgrade (PINGU) is a proposed low-energy in-fill extension to the IceCube Observatory. With detection technology modeled closely on the successful IceCube example, PINGU will feature the world's largest effective volume for neutrinos at an energy threshold of a few GeV, enabling it to reach its chief goal of determining the neutrino mass hierarchy (NMH) quickly and at modest cost. PINGU will be able to distinguish between the normal and inverted NMH at 3σ significance with an estimated 3.5 years of data. With its unprecedented statistical sample of low energy atmospheric neutrinos, PINGU will also have highly competitive sensitivity to νμ disappearance, θ23 octant and maximal mixing, and ντ appearance. PINGU can also extend the search for solar WIMP dark matter into the region currently favored by some direct dark matter experiments. At the lower end of the energy range, PINGU can use neutrino tomography to perform the first-ever direct measurement of the composition of the Earth's core. With its increased module density, PINGU will improve IceCube's sensitivity to galactic supernova neutrino bursts and enable it to extract the neutrino energy spectral shape.
    Full-text · Article · Jan 2014
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We reconsider the possibility that gamma-ray bursts (GRBs) are the sources of the ultra-high energy cosmic rays (UHECRs) within the internal shock model, assuming a pure proton composition of the UHECRs. For the first time, we combine the information from gamma-rays, cosmic rays, prompt neutrinos, and cosmogenic neutrinos quantitatively in a joint cosmic ray production and propagation model, and we show that the information on the cosmic energy budget can be obtained as a consequence. In addition to the neutron model, we consider alternative scenarios for the cosmic ray escape from the GRBs, i.e., that cosmic rays can leak from the sources. We find that the dip model, which describes the ankle in UHECR observations by the pair production dip, is strongly disfavored in combination with the internal shock model because a) unrealistically high baryonic loadings (energy in protons versus energy in electrons/gamma-rays) are needed for the individual GRBs and b) the prompt neutrino flux easily overshoots the corresponding neutrino bound. On the other hand, GRBs may account for the UHECRs in the ankle transition model if cosmic rays leak out from the source at the highest energies. In that case, we demonstrate that future neutrino observations can efficiently test most of the parameter space -- unless the baryonic loading is much larger than previously anticipated.
    Preview · Article · Jan 2014 · Astroparticle Physics
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We discuss higher dimensional effective operators describing interactions between fermionic dark matter and Standard Model particles. They are typically suppressed compared to the leading order effective operators, which can explain why no conclusive direct dark matter detection has been made so far. The ultraviolet completions of the effective operators, which we systematically study, require new particles. These particles can potentially have masses at the TeV scale and can therefore be phenomenologically interesting for LHC physics. We demonstrate that the lowest order options require Higgs-portal interactions generated by dimension six operators. We list all possible tree-level completions with extra fermions and scalars, and we discuss the LHC phenomenology of a specific example with extra heavy fermion doublets.
    Full-text · Article · Nov 2013 · Journal of High Energy Physics
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The nuSTORM facility has been designed to deliver beams of electron neutrinos and muon neutrinos (and their anti-particles) from the decay of a stored muon beam with a central momentum of 3.8 GeV/c and a momentum acceptance of 10%. The facility is unique in that it will: 1. Allow searches for sterile neutrinos of exquisite sensitivity to be carried out; 2. Serve future long- and short-baseline neutrino-oscillation programs by providing definitive measurements of electron neutrino and muon neutrino scattering cross sections off nuclei with percent-level precision; and 3. Constitutes the crucial first step in the development of muon accelerators as a powerful new technique for particle physics. The document describes the facility in detail and demonstrates its physics capabilities. This document was submitted to the Fermilab Physics Advisory Committee in consideration for Stage I approval.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2013
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We studied the change in the first-phase insulin response (FPIR) during the progression to type 1 diabetes (T1D). Seventy-four oral insulin trial progressors to T1D of the Diabetes Prevention Trial-Type 1 with at least one FPIR measurement after baseline and before diagnosis were studied. The FPIR was examined longitudinally in 26 progressors who had FPIR measurements during each of the 3 years before diagnosis. The association between the change from the baseline FPIR to the last FPIR and time to diagnosis was studied in the remainder (n=48). The 74 progressors had lower baseline FPIR values than non-progressors (n=270) with adjustments for age and BMI. In the longitudinal analysis of the 26 progressors, there was a greater decline in the FPIR from 1.5 to 0.5 years before diagnosis than from 2.5 to 1.5 years before diagnosis. This accelerated decline was also evident in a regression analysis of the 48 remaining progressors in whom the rate of decline became more marked with the approaching diagnosis. The patterns of decline were similar between the longitudinal and regression analyses. There is an acceleration of decline in the FPIR during the progression to T1D which becomes especially marked between 1.5 and 0.5 years before diagnosis.
    Full-text · Article · Jul 2013 · Diabetes
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    Full-text · Article · Jul 2013
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We present a model of ultra-high-energy cosmic ray (UHECR) production in the shock-accelerated fireball of a gamma-ray burst. In addition to the standard UHECR origin from neutron escape and decay into protons, our model considers direct proton emission through leakage from the edges of the accelerated baryon-loaded shells that make up the fireball. Depending on the optical thickness of the shells to photohadronic interactions, the source falls in one of three scenarios: the usual, optically thin source dominated by neutron escape, an optically thick source to neutron escape, or a "direct escape" scenario, where the main contribution to UHECRs comes from the leaked protons. The associated neutrino production will be different for each scenario, and we see that the standard "one neutrino per cosmic ray" assumption is valid only in the optically thin case, while more than one neutrino per cosmic ray is expected in the optically thick scenario. In addition, the extra direct escape component enhances the high-energy part of the UHECR flux, thus improving the agreement between the predictions and the observed flux.
    Preview · Article · Jun 2013
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    Walter Winter
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We discuss the neutrino mass hierarchy determination with atmospheric neutrinos in PINGU (Precision IceCube Next Generation Upgrade), based on a simulation with the GLoBES software including the full three flavor framework and parameter degeneracy, and we compare it to long-baseline experiment options. We demonstrate that the atmospheric mass hierarchy sensitivity depends on the achievable experiment properties and we identify the main targets for optimization, whereas the impact of a large number of tested systematical errors turns out to be small. Depending on the values of theta_23, delta, and the true hierarchy, a 90% CL to 3sigma discovery after three years of operation seems conceivable. We also emphasize the synergy with existing beam and reactor experiments, driven by NOvA, such as the complementary coverage of the parameter space. Finally, we point out that a low intensity neutrino beam with a relatively short decay pipe could be used to determine the mass hierarchy with a sensitivity comparable to the LBNE experiment irrespective of the directional resolution of the detector.
    Preview · Article · May 2013 · Physical review D: Particles and fields
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The nuSTORM facility has been designed to deliver beams of electron and muon neutrinos from the decay of a stored muon beam with a central momentum of 3.8 GeV/c and a momentum spread of 10%. The facility is unique in that it will: serve the future long- and short-baseline neutrino-oscillation programmes by providing definitive measurements of electron-neutrino- and muon-neutrino-nucleus cross sections with percent-level precision; allow searches for sterile neutrinos of exquisite sensitivity to be carried out; and constitute the essential first step in the incremental development of muon accelerators as a powerful new technique for particle physics. Of the world's proton-accelerator laboratories, only CERN and FNAL have the infrastructure required to mount nuSTORM. Since no siting decision has yet been taken, the purpose of this Expression of Interest (EoI) is to request the resources required to: investigate in detail how nuSTORM could be implemented at CERN; and develop options for decisive European contributions to the nuSTORM facility and experimental programme wherever the facility is sited. The EoI defines a two-year programme culminating in the delivery of a Technical Design Report.
    Full-text · Article · May 2013
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    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The paradigm that gamma-ray burst fireballs are the sources of the ultra-high energy cosmic rays (UHECRs) is being probed by neutrino observations. Very stringent bounds can be obtained from the cosmic-ray (proton)-neutrino connection, assuming that the UHECRs escape as neutrons. In this study, we identify three different regimes as a function of the fireball parameters: the standard "one neutrino per cosmic ray" case, the optically thick (to neutron escape) case, and the case where leakage of protons from the boundaries of the shells (direct escape) dominates. In the optically thick regime, the photomeson production is very efficient, and more neutrinos will be emitted per cosmic ray than in the standard case, whereas in the direct escape-dominated regime, more cosmic rays than neutrinos will be emitted. We demonstrate that, for efficient proton acceleration, which is required to describe the observed UHECR spectrum, the standard case only applies to a very narrow region of the fireball parameter space. We illustrate with several observed examples that conclusions on the cosmic-ray-neutrino connection will depend on the actual burst parameters. We also show that the definition of the pion production efficiency currently used by the IceCube collaboration underestimates the neutrino production in the optically thick case. Finally, we point out that the direct escape component leads to a spectral break in the cosmic-ray spectrum emitted from a single source. The resulting "two-component model" can be used to even more strongly pronounce the spectral features of the observed UHECR spectrum than the dip model.
    Preview · Article · Apr 2013 · The Astrophysical Journal

Publication Stats

4k Citations
511.64 Total Impact Points


  • 2006-2014
    • University of Wuerzburg
      • Department of Theoretical and Astrophysics
      Würzburg, Bavaria, Germany
    • Institute for Advanced Study
      Princeton Junction, New Jersey, United States
  • 2002-2005
    • Technische Universität München
      • Faculty of Physics
      München, Bavaria, Germany
    • KTH Royal Institute of Technology
      • Department of Physics
      Tukholma, Stockholm, Sweden