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Astrophysics Colloquium

Developing a Neutrino Detector for Space Flight
Presented by Nickolas Solomey
Wichita State University

Thursday, September 5, 2019
11:00 A.M. in 169-336

Abstract
If a neutrino detector can be operated in space it would facilitate at least three future missions for new science in heliophysics, astrophysics and dark matter research. By going very close to the Sun the neutrino flux can increase more than ten thousand times that on Earth and by going away from the Sun the solar neutrino backgrounds for Dark Matter searches in the low energy band below 10 GeV/c2 can be reduced by fifty thousand or more. The Sun could be used as a gravitational focus of neutrino sources detectable with either a spacecraft out at 20 to 40 Astronomical Units or by using the atmosphere of a gas giant such as Uranus or Neptune. This could be used to image the Galactic Core, the second brightest neutrino source in the sky. All of these ideas rely upon making a neutrino detector in space function without the large shielding typically needed on Earth; results from a one year NIAC study showing how a special double pulsing method developed would work to permit operating a neutrino detector in space.

JPL Contact: Brian Sutin (4-2227)


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