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Earth, Moon, and Planets

, Volume 99, Issue 1–4, pp 253–264 | Cite as

Probing the Earth’s Interior with the LENA Detector

  • Kathrin A. Hochmuth
  • Franz V. Feilitzsch
  • Teresa Marrodán Undagoitia
  • Lothar Oberauer
  • Walter Potzel
  • Michael Wurm
  • Brian D. Fields
Article

Abstract

A future large-volume liquid scintillator detector such as the proposed 50 kton LENA (Low Energy Neutrino Astronomy) detector would provide a high-statistics measurement of terrestrial antineutrinos originating from β-decays of the uranium and thorium chains. Additionally, the neutron is scattered in the forward direction in the detection reaction \(\bar{\nu}_e+p\rightarrow n+e^+\). Henceforth, we investigate to what extent LENA can distinguish between certain geophysical models on the basis of the angular dependence of the geoneutrino flux. Our analysis is based on a Monte-Carlo simulation with different levels of light yield, considering an unloaded PXE scintillator. We find that LENA is able to detect deviations from isotropy of the geoneutrino flux with high significance. However, if only the directional information is used, the time required to distinguish between different geophysical models is of the order of severals decades. Nonetheless, a high-statistics measurement of the total geoneutrino flux and its spectrum still provides an extremely useful glance at the Earth’s interior.

Keywords

Low energy neutrino astronomy geoneutrinos 

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Notes

Acknowledgments

We thank E. Lisi for crucial discussions of an earlier version of this paper. Partial support by the Maier-Leibnitz-Laboratorium (Garching), the Virtual Institute for Dark Matter and Neutrinos (VIDMAN, HGF), the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft under Grant No. SFB-375 and the European Union␣under the ILIAS project, contract No. RII3-CT-2004-506222, is acknowledged.

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Copyright information

© Springer 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kathrin A. Hochmuth
    • 1
  • Franz V. Feilitzsch
    • 2
  • Teresa Marrodán Undagoitia
    • 2
  • Lothar Oberauer
    • 2
  • Walter Potzel
    • 2
  • Michael Wurm
    • 2
  • Brian D. Fields
    • 3
  1. 1.Max-Planck-Institut für Physik (Werner-Heisenberg-Institut)MünchenGermany
  2. 2.Physik Department E15Technische Universität MünchenGarchingGermany
  3. 3.Center for Theoretical Astrophysics, Department of AstronomyUniversity of IllinoisUrbanaUSA

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