Constraining high-energy cosmic neutrino sources: Implications and prospects

Kohta Murase, Eli Waxman

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174 Scopus citations


We consider limits on the local (z=0) density (n0) of extragalactic neutrino sources set by the nondetection of steady high-energy neutrino sources producing 50 TeV muon multiplets in the present IceCube data, taking into account the redshift evolution, luminosity function, and neutrino spectrum of the sources. We show that the lower limit depends moderately on source spectra and strongly on redshift evolution. We find n0 10-8-10-7 Mpc-3 for standard candle sources evolving rapidly, ns (1+z)3, and n0 10-6-10-5 Mpc-3 for nonevolving sources. The corresponding upper limits on their neutrino luminosity are Lνμeff1042-1043 erg s-1 and Lνμeff1041-1042 erg s-1, respectively. Applying these results to a wide range of classes of potential sources, we show that powerful "blazar" jets associated with active galactic nuclei are unlikely to be the dominant sources. For almost all other steady candidate source classes (including starbursts, radio galaxies, and galaxy clusters and groups), an order of magnitude increase in the detector sensitivity at ∼0.1-1 PeV will enable a detection (as point sources) of the few brightest objects. Such an increase, which may be provided by next-generation detectors like IceCube-Gen2 and an upgraded KM3NET, can improve the limit on n0 by more than 2 orders of magnitude. Future gamma-ray observations (by Fermi, the High-Altitude Water Cherenkov Observatory, and the Cherenkov Telescope Array) will play a key role in confirming the association of the neutrinos with their sources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number103006
JournalPhysical Review D
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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