Science and technology of Borexino: A real-time detector for low energy solar neutrinos

G. Alimonti, C. Arpesella, H. Back, M. Balata, T. Beau, G. Bellini, J. Benziger, S. Bonetti, A. Brigatti, B. Caccianiga, L. Cadonati, F. Calaprice, G. Cecchet, M. Chen, A. DeBari, E. DeHaas, H. De Kerret, O. Donghi, M. Deutsch, F. EliseiA. Etenko, F. Von Feilitzsch, R. Fernholz, R. Ford, B. Freudiger, A. Garagiola, C. Galbiati, F. Gatti, S. Gazzana, M. Giammarchi, D. Giugni, A. Golubchikov, A. Goretti, C. Grieb, C. Hagner, T. Hagner, W. Hampel, E. Harding, F. Hartmann, R. Von Hentig, H. Hess, G. Heusser, A. Ianni, P. Inzani, S. Kidner, J. Kiko, T. Kirsten, G. Korga, G. Korschinek, D. Kryn, V. Lagomarsino, P. LaMarcne, M. Laubenstein, F. Loeser, P. Lombardi, S. Magni, S. Malvezzi, J. Maniera, I. Manno, G. Manuzio, F. Masetti, U. Mazzucato, E. Meroni, P. Musico, H. Neder, M. Neff, S. Nisi, L. Oberauer, M. Obolensky, M. Pallavicini, L. Papp, L. Perasso, A. Pocar, R. Raghavan, G. Ranucci, W. Rau, A. Razeto, E. Resconi, T. Riedel, A. Sabelnikov, P. Saggese, C. Salvo, R. Scardaoni, S. Schoenert, K. Schuhbeck, H. Seidel, T. Shutt, H. Simgen, A. Sonnenschein, O. Smirnov, A. Sotnikov, M. Skorokhvatov, S. Sukhotin, R. Tartaglia, G. Testera, R. Vogelaar, S. Vitale, M. Wojcik, O. Zaimidoroga, Y. Zakharov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

289 Scopus citations


Borexino, a real-time device for low energy neutrino spectroscopy is nearing completion of construction in the underground laboratories at Gran Sasso, Italy (LNGS). The experiment's goal is the direct measurement of the flux of 7Be solar neutrinos of all flavors via neutrino-electron scattering in an ultra-pure scintillation liquid. Seeded by a series of innovations which were brought to fruition by large-scale operation of a 4-ton test detector at LNGS, a new technology has been developed for Borexino. It enables sub-MeV solar neutrino spectroscopy for the first time. This paper describes the design of Borexino, the various facilities essential to its operation, its spectroscopic and background suppression capabilities and a prognosis of the impact of its results towards resolving the solar neutrino problem. Borexino will also address several other frontier questions in particle physics, astrophysics and geophysics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-234
Number of pages30
JournalAstroparticle Physics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 2002
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Many individuals besides the authors have contributed to the development of the Borexino project. We wish to acknowledge particularly the following who made significant contributions in early stages: R. Cereseto, N. Darnton, A. Falgiani, T. Goldbrunner, J. Jochum, M. Johnson, A. Manco, A. Nostro, S. Pakvasa, M. Parodi, A. Perotti, G. Pieri, A. Preda, P. Raghavan, P. Rothschild, P. Ullucci and members of IRMM for the measurements made in Geel. The collaboration wants to thank the Laboratori Nazionali del Gran Sasso [LNGS] and A. Bettini for continuous help and support. We sincerely thank the funding bodies: Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare [INFN], and Ministero della Universita' e della Ricerca Scientifica e Tecnologica [MURST] (Italy); IN2P3 (France); Bundesministerium für Bildung, Wissenschaft, Forschung und Technologie [BMBF], Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft [DFG] and Max-Planck-Gesellschaft [MPG] (Germany); the National Science Foundation and Bell Laboratories (USA); the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, and agencies in Hungary, Poland and Russia for their generous support of this project.


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