21-23 October 2019
Conference center of the Czech Association of Scientific and Technical Societies
Europe/Prague timezone

Probing the Earth Core Composition with Neutrino Oscillation Tomography

21 Oct 2019, 17:30
2h
Room 319 (3rd floor) (Conference center of the Czech Association of Scientific and Technical Societies)

Room 319 (3rd floor)

Conference center of the Czech Association of Scientific and Technical Societies

Novotného lávka 5, Prague 1, Czech Republic

Speaker

Veronique Van Elewyck (Universite Paris Diderot)

Description

Atmospheric neutrinos open the way to alternative probing methods to study the structure and composition of the inner Earth, complementary to geophysical methods. At GeV energies, the flavour oscillations of neutrinos crossing the Earth are distorted due to coherent forward scattering on electrons along their path. The signature of these matter effects in the neutrino angular, energy
and flavour distributions may provide sensitivity to the electron density, and thus the composition, in the different layers traversed. The combination of this neutrino-based measurement with a reference mass density profile constrains the effective proton-to-nucleon ratio of the medium (Z/A), providing new insights into the chemical composition of the inner Earth, and in particular its core, whose content in light elements is still controversial.

Such a measurement requires large-sized neutrino detectors with good efficiency in the relevant energy range and precise determination of the neutrino energy, arrival direction, and flavour. Considering a generic but realistic model of detector response, we discuss the influence of various detector performance indicators on the sensitivity to the average Z/A in the core. Starting from
specific examples of the next-generation detectors (ORCA, DUNE), we also identify the main improvements required to reach a measurement of the H content of the core at the 1 wt% level.

Primary authors

Veronique Van Elewyck (Universite Paris Diderot) Mr Simon Bourret (ETH Zurich (CH)) Joao Coelho (LAL) Prof. Edouard Kaminski (Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris)

Presentation Materials