Borexino: geo-neutrino measurement at Gran Sasso, Italy

Borexino collaboration: Agostini et al.


Geo-neutrinos, electron anti-neutrinos produced in β-decays of naturally occurring radioactive isotopes in the Earth, are a unique direct probe of our planet’s interior. After a brief introduction of the geo-neutrinos’ properties and of the main aims of their study, we discuss the features of a detector which has recently provided breakthrough achievements in the field, Borexino, a massive, calorimetric liquid scintillator detector installed at the underground Gran Sasso Laboratory. With its unprecedented radiopurity levels achieved in the core of the detection medium, it is the only experiment in operation able to study in real time solar neutrino interactions in the challenging sub-MeV energy region. Its superior technical properties allowed Borexino also to provide a clean detection of terrestrial neutrinos. Therefore, the description of the characteristics of the detected geo-neutrino signal and of the corresponding geological implications are the main core of the discussion contained in this work.


Geoneutrinos; Solar neutrinos; Neutrino oscillations; Liquid scintillators; Low background

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Published by INGV, Istituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Vulcanologia - ISSN: 2037-416X