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The GZK Neutrino Flux

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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

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Correspondence to Thomas Meures .

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Meures, T. (2015). The GZK Neutrino Flux. In: Development of a Sub-glacial Radio Telescope for the Detection of GZK Neutrinos. Springer Theses. Springer, Cham.

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