The diffuse supernova neutrino flux

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I review the status and perspectives of the research on the diffuse flux of (core collapse) supernova neutrinos (DSNνF). Several upper bounds exist on this flux in different detection channels. The strongest is the limit from SuperKamiokande (SK) of 1.2 electron antineutrinos cm -2s -1 at 90% confidence level above 19.3 MeV of neutrino energy. The predictions of the DSNνF depend on the supernova rate and on the neutrino emission in a individual supernova. Above the SK threshold, they range between 0.05 electron antineutrinos cm -2s -1 up to touching the SK limit. The SK bound constrains part of the parameter space of the supernova rate - and indirectly of the star formation rate - only in models with relatively hard neutrino spectra. Experimentally, a feasible and very important goal for the future is the improvement of background discrimination and the resulting lowering of the detection threshold. Theory instead will benefit from reducing the uncertainties on the supernova neutrino emission (either with more precise numerical modeling or with data from a galactic supernova) and on the supernova rate. The latter will be provided precisely by next generation supernova surveys up to a normalization factor. Therefore, the detection of the DSNνF is likely to be precious chiefly to constrain such normalization and to study the physics of neutrino emission in supernovae.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)160-165
Number of pages6
JournalNuclear Physics B - Proceedings Supplements
StatePublished - Dec 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics


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