Cross section for supernova axion observation in neutrino water Čherenkov detectors

Pierluca Carenza, Giampaolo Co', Maurizio Giannotti, Alessandro Lella, Giuseppe Lucente, Alessandro Mirizzi, Thomas Rauscher

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Axions coupled to nucleons might be copiously emitted from core-collapse supernovae (SNe). If the axion-nucleon coupling is strong enough, then axions would be emitted from the SN as a burst and, reaching Earth, may excite the oxygen nuclei in water Čherenkov detectors (O16+a→O∗16). This process will be followed by decay(s) of the excited state resulting in an emission of photons and thus providing a possibility for a direct detection of axions from a galactic SN in large underground neutrino Čherenkov detectors. Motivated by this possibility, we present an updated calculation of axion-oxygen cross section obtained by using self-consistent continuum random-phase approximation. We calculate the branching ratio of the oxygen nucleus deexcitation into γ rays, neutrons, protons, and α particles and also consider photon emission from secondary nuclei to compute a total γ spectrum created when axions excite O16. These results are used to revisit the detectability of axions from SN 1987A in Kamiokande-II.

Original languageEnglish
Article number015501
Pages (from-to)1-15
Number of pages15
JournalPhysical Review C (nuclear physics)
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2024


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