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Phys Rev Lett. 2012 Feb 3;108(5):051302. Epub 2012 Feb 2.

First evidence of pep solar neutrinos by direct detection in Borexino.

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1
Dipartimento di Fisica, Università degli Studi e INFN, 20133 Milano, Italy.

Abstract

We observed, for the first time, solar neutrinos in the 1.0-1.5 MeV energy range. We determined the rate of pep solar neutrino interactions in Borexino to be 3.1±0.6{stat}±0.3{syst}  counts/(day·100  ton). Assuming the pep neutrino flux predicted by the standard solar model, we obtained a constraint on the CNO solar neutrino interaction rate of <7.9  counts/(day·100  ton) (95% C.L.). The absence of the solar neutrino signal is disfavored at 99.97% C.L., while the absence of the pep signal is disfavored at 98% C.L. The necessary sensitivity was achieved by adopting data analysis techniques for the rejection of cosmogenic {11}C, the dominant background in the 1-2 MeV region. Assuming the Mikheyev-Smirnov-Wolfenstein large mixing angle solution to solar neutrino oscillations, these values correspond to solar neutrino fluxes of (1.6±0.3)×10{8}  cm{-2} s^{-1} and <7.7×10{8}  cm{-2} s{-1} (95% C.L.), respectively, in agreement with both the high and low metallicity standard solar models. These results represent the first direct evidence of the pep neutrino signal and the strongest constraint of the CNO solar neutrino flux to date.

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