Strong neutrino-nucleon interactions at ultrahigh energies as a solution to the GZK puzzle

Z. Fodor, S. D. Katz, A. Ringwald, H. Tu

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


After a short review of the ultrahigh energy cosmic ray puzzle – the apparent observation of cosmic rays originating from cosmological distances with energies above the expected Greisen-Zatsepin-Kuzmin cutoff 4 × 1019 eV – we consider strongly interacting neutrino scenarios as an especially interesting solution. We show that all features of the ultrahigh energy cosmic ray spectrum from 1017 eV to 1021 eV can be described to originate from a simple power-like injection spectrum of protons, under the assumption that the neutrino-nucleon cross-section is significantly enhanced at center of mass energies above 100 TeV. In such a scenario, the cosmogenic neutrinos produced during the propagation of protons through the cosmic microwave background initiate air showers in the atmosphere, just as the protons. The total air shower spectrum induced by protons and neutrinos shows excellent agreement with the observations. We shortly discuss TeV-scale extensions of the Standard Model which may lead to a realization of a strongly interacting neutrino scenario. We emphasize, however, that such a scenario may even be realized within the standard electroweak model: electroweak instanton/sphaleron induced processes may get strong at ultrahigh energies. Possible tests of strongly interacting neutrino scenarios range from observations at cosmic ray facilities and neutrino telescopes to searches at lepton nucleon scattering experiments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationThe Tenth Marcel Grossmann Meeting
Subtitle of host publicationOn Recent Developments in Theoretical and Experimental General Relativity, Gravitation and Relativistic Field Theories
PublisherWorld Scientific Publishing Co.
Number of pages21
ISBN (Electronic)9789812704030
ISBN (Print)9789812566676
StatePublished - Jan 1 2006

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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