Neutrino signatures from the first stars

Frédéric Daigne, Keith A. Olive, Pearl Sandick, Elisabeth Vangioni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Evidence from the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) polarization data indicates that the Universe may have been reionized at very high redshift. It is often suggested that the ionizing UV flux originates from an early population of massive or very massive stars. Depending on their mass, such stars can explode either as type II supernovae or pair-instability supernovae, or may entirely collapse into a black hole. The resulting neutrino emission can be quite different in each case. We consider here the relic neutrino background produced by an early burst of Population III stars coupled with a normal mode of star formation at lower redshift. The computation is performed in the framework of hierarchical structure formation and is based on cosmic star formation histories constrained to reproduce the observed star formation rate at redshift z 6, the observed chemical abundances in damped Lyman alpha absorbers and in the intergalactic medium, and to allow for an early reionization of the Universe at z∼10-20. We find that although the high redshift burst of Population III stars does lead to an appreciable flux of neutrinos at relatively low energy (Eν≈1MeV), the observable neutrino flux is dominated by the normal mode of star formation. We also find that predicted fluxes are at the present level of the SuperK limit. As a consequence, the supernova relic neutrino background has a direct impact on models of chemical evolution and/or supernova dynamics.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number103007
JournalPhysical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology
Issue number10
StatePublished - Nov 15 2005


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