Directional measurement in Borexino: Calibration of Cherenkov photons in a liquid scintillator detector using gamma sources

Borexino collaboration

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Borexino is a 280-ton liquid scintillator detector located at the Laboratori Nazionali del Gran Sasso (LNGS), Italy. The main goal of Borexino is to measure solar neutrinos via elastic scattering off electrons in the liquid scintillator. The electrons are then detected by the photo-multiplier tubes via isotropically emitted scintillation photons. However, in the first few nanoseconds after a neutrino interaction, Cherenkov photons (<1% of all detected photons) are also produced in the scintillator for electrons with kinetic energy >0.16 MeV. Borexino has successfully obtained the first directional measurement of sub-MeV solar neutrinos, and the 7Be solar neutrino interaction rate, through the exploitation of this Cherenkov light signal. This is performed through the so-called Correlated and Integrated Directionality (CID) method, by correlating the first few detected photons to the well-known position of the Sun and integrating the angle for a large number of events. This measurement requires a calibration of the relative time differences between Cherenkov and scintillation photons. In Borexino, we obtain this through gamma calibration sources namely, 40K and 54Mn. A group velocity correction estimated through the gamma sources is then used for the solar neutrino analysis. This article will discuss the analysis strategy and methods used for this calibration, and provide motivation for a dedicated Cherenkov calibration in next-generation liquid scintillator detectors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number012184
JournalJournal of Physics: Conference Series
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 21 2022
Event17th International Conference on Topics in Astroparticle and Underground Physics, TAUP 2021 - Virtual, Online
Duration: Aug 26 2021Sep 3 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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