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Title: Exploring the hidden interior of the Earth with directional neutrino measurements

Roughly 40% of the Earth’s total heat flow is powered by radioactive decays in the crust and mantle. Geo-neutrinos produced by these decays provide important clues about the origin, formation and thermal evolution of our planet, as well as the composition of its interior. Previous measurements of geo-neutrinos have all relied on the detection of inverse beta decay reactions, which are insensitive to the contribution from potassium and do not provide model-independent information about the spatial distribution of geo-neutrino sources within the Earth. Here in this paper we present a method for measuring previously unresolved components of Earth’s radiogenic heating using neutrino-electron elastic scattering and low-background, direction-sensitive tracking detectors.We calculate the exposures needed to probe various contributions to the total geo-neutrino flux, specifically those associated to potassium, the mantle and the core. The measurements proposed here chart a course for pioneering exploration of the veiled inner workings of the Earth.
Authors:
 [1] ;  [2] ;  [3]
  1. The Barcelona Institute of Science and Technology (BIST), Bellaterra (Spain). Inst. of Fisica d'Altes Engergies; Royal Holloway Univ. of London, Egham Hill, Egham (United Kingdom). Dept. of Physics; Massachusetts Inst. of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA (United States). Dept. of Physics and Lab. for Nuclear Science
  2. Univ. of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI (United States). Dept. of Physics and Astronomy
  3. Royal Holloway Univ. of London, Egham Hill, Egham (United Kingdom). Dept. of Physics; Massachusetts Inst. of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA (United States). Dept. of Physics and Lab. for Nuclear Science; High Energy Accelerator Research Organization (KEK), Tsukuba (Japan)
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
FG02-05ER41360; ST/K002570/1; ECF-20130496; 665919; FPA2014-77347-C2-2; SEV-2012-0234
Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Nature Communications
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 8; Journal ID: ISSN 2041-1723
Publisher:
Nature Publishing Group
Research Org:
Massachusetts Inst. of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE; Ministerio de Economia, Industria y Competitividad (MINECO); National Science Foundation (NSF); Science & Technology Facilities Council (STFC)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
58 GEOSCIENCES; 72 PHYSICS OF ELEMENTARY PARTICLES AND FIELDS
OSTI Identifier:
1430052