Acoustic detection of high energy neutrinos in sea water: status and prospects
Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Erlangen Centre for Astroparticle Physics (ECAP), Erwin-Rommel-Straße 1 91058 Erlangen, Germany
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Published online: 15 March 2017
The acoustic neutrino detection technique is a promising approach for future large-scale detectors with the aim of measuring the small expected flux of neutrinos at energies in the EeV-range and above. The technique is based on the thermo-acoustic model, which implies that the energy deposition by a particle cascade – resulting from a neutrino interaction in a medium with suitable thermal and acoustic properties – leads to a local heating and a subsequent characteristic pressure pulse that propagates in the surrounding medium. Current or recent test setups for acoustic neutrino detection have either been add-ons to optical neutrino telescopes or have been using acoustic arrays built for other purposes, typically for military use. While these arrays have been too small to derive competitive limits on neutrino fluxes, they allowed for detailed studies of the experimental technique. With the advent of the research infrastructure KM3NeT in the Mediterranean Sea, new possibilities will arise for acoustic neutrino detection. In this article, results from the “first generation” of acoustic arrays will be summarized and implications for the future of acoustic neutrino detection will be discussed.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2017
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