Neutrinos from cosmic ray interactions in the Sun

Joakim Edsjo, Jessica Elevant, Rikard Enberg, Carl Niblaeus
Cosmic rays hitting the solar atmosphere generate neutrinos that interact and oscillate in the Sun and oscillate on the way to Earth. These neutrinos could potentially be detected with neutrino telescopes and will be a background for searches for neutrinos from dark matter annihilation in the Sun. We calculate the flux of neutrinos from these cosmic ray interactions in the Sun and also investigate the interactions near a detector on Earth that give rise to muons. We compare this background with both regular Earth-atmospheric neutrinos and signals from dark matter annihilation in the Sun. Our calculation is performed with an event-based Monte Carlo approach that should be suitable as a simulation tool for experimental collaborations. Our program package is released publicly along with this paper.

Sun puts relativity to the test

Could the Sun test alternative theories of gravity? (Courtesy: NASA)

Alternatives to Einstein’s general theory of relativity can be investigated by studying the Sun. That is the claim of a group of physicists in Portugal who have found that a variation of a theory put forward nearly a century ago by Arthur Eddington is constrained but not ruled out by observations of solar neutrinos and solar acoustic waves.

General relativity, which describes gravity as the curvature of space–time by massive objects, has so far passed every experimental and observational test dreamed up by physicists. But the theory does present a number of problems. In addition to the difficulty of unifying it with quantum mechanics and the challenge to explain the nature of dark matter and dark energy, there remains the conceptual problem of singularities, where the laws of physics break down….. Continue reading Sun puts relativity to the test