Diffuse neutrino intensity from the inner jets of active galactic nuclei: Impacts of external photon fields and the blazar sequence

Kohta Murase, Yoshiyuki Inoue, Charles D. Dermer

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235 Scopus citations


We study high-energy neutrino production in inner jets of radio-loud active galactic nuclei (AGN), taking into account effects of external photon fields and the blazar sequence. We show that the resulting diffuse neutrino intensity is dominated by quasar-hosted blazars, in particular, flat spectrum radio quasars, and that PeV-EeV neutrino production due to photohadronic interactions with broadline and dust radiation is unavoidable if the AGN inner jets are ultrahigh-energy cosmic-ray (UHECR) sources. Their neutrino spectrum has a cutoff feature around PeV energies since target photons are due to Lyα emission. Because of infrared photons provided by the dust torus, neutrino spectra above PeV energies are too hard to be consistent with the IceCube data unless the proton spectral index is steeper than 2.5, or the maximum proton energy is 100PeV. Thus, the simple model has difficulty in explaining the IceCube data. For the cumulative neutrino intensity from blazars to exceed ∼10-8GeVcm-2s-1sr-1, their local cosmic-ray energy generation rate would be ∼10-100 times larger than the local UHECR emissivity but is comparable to the averaged γ-ray blazar emissivity. Interestingly, future detectors such as the Askaryan Radio Array can detect ∼0.1-1EeV neutrinos even in more conservative cases, allowing us to indirectly test the hypothesis that UHECRs are produced in the inner jets. We find that the diffuse neutrino intensity from radio-loud AGN is dominated by blazars with γ-ray luminosity of 1048ergs-1, and the arrival directions of their ∼1-100PeV neutrinos correlate with the luminous blazars detected by Fermi.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number023007
JournalPhysical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 7 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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