The GZK Neutrino Flux

  • Thomas MeuresEmail author
Part of the Springer Theses book series (Springer Theses)


The main research topic of this thesis are the so-called GZK neutrinos. Shortly after the discovery of the Cosmic Microwave Background (CMB) an interaction between this omnipresent photon radiation and Ultra-High Energy Cosmic Rays (UHECRs) was predicted in the mid sixties by Greisen [1], Zatsepin and Kuzmin [2], named the GZK mechanism. In this interaction, pions are generated with a resonance in the cross section for cosmic ray energies slightly above the production threshold. Due to the resonance, the mean free path of cosmic rays with sufficient energy is reduced to some tens of Mpc. Since no source candidates of such high energy cosmic rays have been observed within this distance, a cutoff in the cosmic rays spectrum is expected. Furthermore, a guaranteed flux of neutrinos was predicted by Berezinsky and Zatsepin in 1968 [3] to result from the GZK mechanism. This flux is a decay product from the generated pions and is estimated to be very small. Interactions of neutrinos from this flux are expected to happen at a rate of less than once per year in one gigaton of target material. Therefore, extremely large detector volumes are needed to investigate the GZK neutrino flux.


Cosmic Microwave Background Star Formation Rate Neutrino Flux Mass Composition Neutrino Production 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. 1.
    K. Greisen, End to the cosmic-ray spectrum? Phys. Rev. Lett. 16, 748–750 (1966)CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    G.T. Zatsepin, V.A. Kuzmin, Upper limit of the spectrum of cosmic rays. JETP Lett. 4, 78–80 (1966)ADSGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    V. Beresinsky, G. Zatsepin, Cosmic rays at ultra high energies (neutrino?). Phys. Lett. B 28(6), 423–424 (1969)CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    A.A. Penzias, R.W. Wilson, A measurement of excess antenna temperature at 4080 Mc/s. Astrophys. J. 142, 419 (1965)CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    R.H. Dicke, P.J.E. Peebles, P.G. Roll, D.T. Wilkinson, Cosmic black-body radiation. Astrophys. J. 142, 414 (1965)CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    G.F. Hinshaw et al., Nine-year Wilkinson microwave anisotropy probe (WMAP) observations: cosmological results. ApJS (2012)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    R. Engel, D. Seckel, T. Stanev, Neutrinos from propagation of ultrahigh energy protons. Phys. Rev. D 64, 093010 (2001)CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    K.K. Andersen, S.R. Klein, High energy cosmic-ray interactions with particles from the sun. Phys. Rev. D 83, 103519 (2011)CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    R. Abbasi et al., Measurement of the flux of ultra high energy cosmic rays by the stereo technique. Astropart. Phys. 32(1), 53–60 (2009)CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Pierre Auger Collaboration, J. Abraham et al., Measurement of the energy spectrum of cosmic rays above 1018 eV using the Pierre Auger Observatory. Phys. Lett. B 685(4–5), 239–246 (2010)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    D. Allard et al., Cosmogenic neutrinos from the propagation of ultrahigh energy nuclei. J. Cosmol. Astropart. Phys. 2006(09), 005 (2006)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Pierre Auger Collaboration, A. Letessier-Selvon et al., Highlights from the Pierre Auger Observatory, Braz. J. Phys. (2014). arXiv:1310.4620
  13. 13.
    Telescope Array Collaboration, P. Tinyakov et al., Latest results from the telescope array. Nucl. Instrum. Methods Phys. Res. Sect. A Accel. Spectrom. Detect. Assoc. Equip. 742, 29–34 (2014)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    A. Bell, Cosmic ray acceleration. Astropart. Phys. 43, 56–70 (2013)CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    A. Hillas, Where do 1019 eV cosmic rays come from? Nucl. Phys. B Proc. Suppl. 136, 39–146 (2004) (CRIS 2004 proceedings of the cosmic ray international seminars: GZK and surroundings)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    A.M. Hillas, The origin of ultra-high-energy cosmic rays. Annu. Rev. Astron. Astrophys. 22(1), 425–444 (1984)CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    J. Abraham et al., Upper limit on the cosmic-ray photon fraction at EeV energies from the Pierre Auger Observatory. Astropart. Phys. 31(6), 399–406 (2009)CrossRefADSMathSciNetGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    H. Yüksel, M.D. Kistler, J.F. Beacom, A.M. Hopkins, Revealing the high-redshift star formation rate with gamma-ray bursts. Astrophys. J. Lett. 683(1), L5 (2008)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    M. Ahlers, F. Halzen, Minimal cosmogenic neutrinos. Phys. Rev. D 86, 083010 (2012)CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Fermi LAT Collaboration, A.A. Abdo et al., Spectrum of the isotropic diffuse gamma-ray emission derived from first-year Fermi large area telescope data. Phys. Rev. Lett. 104, 101101 (2010)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    M. Ahlers et al., GZK neutrinos after the Fermi-LAT diffuse photon flux measurement. Astropart. Phys. 34(2), 106–115 (2010)CrossRefADSGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Université Libre de Bruxelles – IIHEBrusselsBelgium

Personalised recommendations