Neutrinos from failed supernovae at future water and liquid argon detectors

James G. Keehn, Cecilia Lunardini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


We discuss the diffuse flux of electron neutrinos and antineutrinos from cosmological failed supernovae, stars that collapse directly into a black hole with no explosion. This flux has a hotter energy spectrum compared to the flux from regular, neutron star-forming collapses and therefore it dominates the total diffuse flux from core collapses above 20-45 MeV of neutrino energy. Reflecting the features of the originally emitted neutrinos, the flux of ν e and ν ̄e at Earth is larger when the survival probability of these species is larger, and also when the equations of state of nuclear matter are stiffer. In the 19-29 MeV energy window, the flux from failed supernovae is substantial, ranging from ∼7% to a dominant fraction of the total flux from all core collapses. It can be as large as ēBH=0.38s -1cm -2 for ν ̄e and as large as eBH=0.28s -1cm -2 for ν e, normalized to a local rate of core collapses of R cc(0)=10 -4yr -1Mpc -3. In 5 years, a 0.45 Mt water Cherenkov detector should see ∼5-65 events from failed supernovae, while up to ∼160 events are expected for the same mass with Gadolinium added. A 0.1 Mt liquid argon experiment should record ∼1-11 events. Signatures of neutrinos from failed supernovae are the enhancement of the total rates of events from core collapses (up to a factor of ∼2) and the appearance of high energy tails in the event spectra.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number043011
JournalPhysical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Feb 14 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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