Active Galactic Nuclei Jets as the Origin of Ultrahigh-Energy Cosmic Rays and Perspectives for the Detection of Astrophysical Source Neutrinos at EeV Energies

Xavier Rodrigues, Jonas Heinze, Andrea Palladino, Arjen Van Vliet, Walter Winter

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38 Scopus citations

Abstract

We demonstrate that a population of active galactic nuclei (AGN) can describe the observed spectrum of ultra-high-energy cosmic rays (UHECRs) at and above the ankle, and that the dominant contribution comes from low-luminosity BL Lacertae objects. An additional, subdominant contribution from high-luminosity AGN is needed to improve the description of the composition observables, leading to a substantial neutrino flux that peaks at exaelectronvolt (EeV) energies. We also find that different properties for the low- and high-luminosity AGN populations are required; a possibly similar baryonic loading can already be excluded from current IceCube Neutrino Observatory observations. We also show that the flux of neutrinos emitted from within the sources should outshine the cosmogenic neutrinos produced during the propagation of UHECRs. This result has profound implications for the ultra-high-energy (∼EeV) neutrino experiments, since additional search strategies can be used for source neutrinos compared to cosmogenic neutrinos, such as stacking searches, flare analyses, and multimessenger follow-ups.

Original languageBritish English
Article number191101
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Volume126
Issue number19
DOIs
StatePublished - 10 May 2021

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