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Volume 358 - 36th International Cosmic Ray Conference (ICRC2019) - NU - Neutrino
Current constraints from cosmogenic neutrinos on the fraction of protons in UHECRs
A. van Vliet,* R. Alves Batista, J. Hörandel
*corresponding author
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Pre-published on: 2019 September 02
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Cosmogenic neutrinos are created when ultra-high-energy cosmic rays (UHECRs) interact with extragalactic photon backgrounds. In general, the expected flux of these cosmogenic neutrinos depends on multiple parameters, describing the sources and propagation of UHECRs. In our recent paper (van Vliet et al., 2019), we show that a `sweet spot` occurs at a neutrino energy of $E_{\nu} \sim 1$ EeV. At that energy the flux mainly depends on two parameters, the source evolution and the fraction of protons in UHECRs at Earth for $E_p \gtrsim 30$ EeV. Therefore, with current upper limits on the cosmogenic neutrino flux at $E_{\nu} \sim 1$ EeV and assuming a certain source class, a constraint on the composition of UHECRs can be obtained. This constraint is independent of hadronic interaction models and indicates that the combination of a large proton fraction and a strong source evolution is disfavored. Upcoming neutrino experiments will be able to constrain the fraction of protons in UHECRs even further, and for any realistic model for the evolution of UHECR sources.
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