- Conference date: 19–22 June 2012
- Location: Erlangen, Germany
We have found a radio-wave-reflection effect in rock salt for the detection of ultra-high energy neutrinos (UHEν’s) which are expected to be generated in Greisen, Zatsepin, and Kuzmin (GZK) processes in the universe. When an UHEν interacts with rock salt or ice as a detection medium, a shower is generated. That shower is formed by hadronic and electromagnetic avalanche processes. The energy of the UHEν shower converts to thermal energy through ionization processes. Consequently, the temperature rises along the shower produced by the UHEν. The refractive index of the medium rises with temperature. The irregularity of the refractive index in the medium leads to a reflection of radio waves. This reflection effect combined with the long attenuation length of radio waves in rock salt and ice would yield a new method to detect UHEν’s. We measured the phase of the reflected radio wave under irradiation with an electron beam on ice and rock salt powder. The measured phase showed excellent consistence with the power reflection fraction which was measured directly. A model taking into account the temperature change explained the phase and the amplitude of the reflected wave. Therefore the reflection mechanism was confirmed. The power reflection fraction was compared with that calculated with the Fresnel equations, the ratio between the measured result and that obtained with the Fresnel equations in ice was larger than that of rock salt.
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