Annual modulation of cosmic relic neutrinos

Benjamin R. Safdi, Mariangela Lisanti, Joshua Spitz, Joseph A. Formaggio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


The cosmic neutrino background (CνB), produced about one second after the big bang, permeates the Universe today. New technological advancements make neutrino capture on beta-decaying nuclei (NCB) a clear path forward towards the detection of the CνB. We show that gravitational focusing by the Sun causes the expected neutrino capture rate to modulate annually. The amplitude and phase of the modulation depend on the phase-space distribution of the local neutrino background, which is perturbed by structure formation. These results also apply to searches for sterile neutrinos at NCB experiments. Gravitational focusing is the only source of modulation for neutrino capture experiments, in contrast to dark-matter direct-detection searches where the Earth's time-dependent velocity relative to the Sun also plays a role.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number043001
JournalPhysical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 1 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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