Neutrino background flux from sources of ultrahigh-energy cosmic-ray nuclei

Kohta Murase, John F. Beacom

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54 Scopus citations


Motivated by Pierre Auger Observatory results favoring a heavy nuclear composition for ultrahigh-energy (UHE) cosmic rays, we investigate implications for the cumulative neutrino background. The requirement that nuclei not be photodisintegrated constrains their interactions in sources, therefore limiting neutrino production via photomeson interactions. Assuming a dNCR/dECR ECR-2 injection spectrum and photodisintegration via the giant dipole resonance, the background flux of neutrinos is lower than Eν2Φν∼10 -9GeVcm-2s-1sr-1 if UHE nuclei ubiquitously survive in their sources. This is smaller than the analogous Waxman-Bahcall flux for UHE protons by about 1 order of magnitude and is below the projected IceCube sensitivity. If IceCube detects a neutrino background, it could be due to other sources, e.g., hadronuclear interactions of lower-energy cosmic rays; if it does not, this supports our strong restrictions on the properties of sources of UHE nuclei.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number123001
JournalPhysical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology
Issue number12
StatePublished - 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

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


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