Neutrino Production in Electromagnetic Cascades: An extra component of cosmogenic neutrino at ultrahigh energies [HEAP]

Muon pairs can be produced in the annihilation of ultra-high energy (UHE, $E \gtrsim 10^{18} \,\mathrm{eV}$) photons with low energy cosmic background radiation in the intergalactic space, giving birth to neutrinos. Although the branching ratio of muon pair production is low, products of other channels, which are mainly electron/positron pairs, will probably transfer most of their energies into the new generated UHE photon in the subsequent interaction with the cosmic background radiation via Compton scattering in deep Klein-Nishina regime. The regeneration of these new UHE photons then provides a second chance to produce the muon pairs, enhancing the neutrino flux. We investigate the neutrino production in the propagation of UHE photons in the intergalactic space at different redshifts, considering various competing processes such as pair production, double pair production for UHE photons, and triplet production and synchrotron radiation for UHE electrons. Regarding the least energetic outgoing particles as energy loss, we obtain the effective penetration length of the leading particle, as well as energy loss rate including the neutrino emission rate in the cascade process. Finally, we find that an extra component of UHE neutrinos will arise from the propagation of UHE cosmic rays due to the generated UHE photons and electron/positrons. However, the flux of this component is quite small, with a flux of at most $10\%$ of that of the conventional cosmogenic neutrino at a few EeV, in the absence of a strong intergalactic magnetic field and a strong cosmic radio background. The precise contribution of extra component depends on several factors, e.g., cosmic radio background, intergalactic magnetic field, the spectrum of proton, which will be discussed in this work.

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K. Wang, R. Liu, Z. Li, et. al.
Mon, 27 Feb 17

Comments: 14 pages, 9 figures, accepted for publication in Phys. Rev. D