Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 5 sessions / week, 2 hours / session

This is a credit course involving five sessions each of two hours, study assignments, quizzes, and a case study report and presentation by each student at the end of the course.

Course Description

This course covers the following questions. What are the predominant heat producing elements of the Earth? Where and how much are they? Are they present in the core of the Earth? Detection of antineutrinos generated in the Earth provides: 1) information on the sources of the terrestrial heat, 2) direct test of the Bulk Silicate Earth (BSE) model and 3) testing of non-conventional models of Earth’s core. Use of antineutrinos to probe the deep interior of our planet is becoming practical due to recent fundamental advances in the antineutrino detectors.


Permission of instructor

Course Objectives are to Understand

  1. Relevance to antineutrino analysis of global concentration determination of radiogenic heat producing elements (HPE) by terrestrial heat flow studies and Bulk Silicate Earth (BSE) models, and unconventional models of the Earth’s core.


  2. Basic radiation characteristics of heat producing elements (HPE): Alpha, beta, gamma, neutrino and antineutrino radiations, Basics of radiation detection concepts, Special focus: antineutrino radiation detection.


  3. Relevance of existing large antineutrino detectors for probing the HPE in Earth’s deep interior:
    Characteristics, research and contributions of the two existing antineutrino detectors - Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO), Canada and Kamioka Liquid Scintillator Antineutrino Detector (KamLAND), Japan.


  4. Proposed antineutrino detectors for probing the HPE in Earth’s deep interior with directional sensitivity. Tomography of the whole Earth for the localization of the HPE in the deep interior of the Earth. Need for mobile antineutrino detectors for tomography.


  5. Considerations for dedicated antineutrino detectors to probe the Earth’s deep interior for the determination of concentrations of heat producing elements.


Class attendance and participation 25%
Reading assignments 25%
Homework assignments 15%
Project report 15%
Project presentation 15%

Required percentage to pass this course is 95%.