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Our Research into Geoneutrinos

Neutrino geoscience is an emerging interdisciplinary field (particle physics and geology) that independently assesses the Earth’s radiogenic power through the detection of geoneutrinos , electron antineutrinos generated during beta-minus decay. Uranium, thorium and potassium provide ~99% of the Earth’s radiogenic heat. Particle physicists have successfully detected the Earth’s geoneutrino flux and begun working with geologists to understand the exact amount and distribution of K, Th and U in the continental and oceanic crust, as well as in the mantle. Since the first detection of geoneutrinos by the KamLAND (2005) and Borexino (2010) experiments, particle physicists have increasingly improved their estimates of the Earth's flux and greatly reduced uncertainties in these measurements. The SNO+ detector (Sudbury, Canada) will soon start counting and be the first detector site in the ancient craton of a continent. Together these detectors define the radiogenic power in the continents, while overall uncertainties deny us unambiguous insights into the mantle's flux contribution. An ocean based detector (e.g., Hanohano) will define the mantle flux, discriminate between competing Earth models, define for us the building blocks of the Earth and provide the physics and nuclear monitoring communities unparalleled opportunities for future studies.

Geoneutrinos Publications