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Importance of the X-ray edge singularity for the detection of relic neutrinos in the PTOLEMY project

by Zhiyang Tan and Vadim Cheianov

Submission summary

Authors (as registered SciPost users): Zhiyang Tan
Submission information
Preprint Link: scipost_202310_00021v2  (pdf)
Date accepted: 2024-06-10
Date submitted: 2024-05-22 14:57
Submitted by: Tan, Zhiyang
Submitted to: SciPost Physics
Ontological classification
Academic field: Physics
  • Condensed Matter Physics - Theory
  • Gravitation, Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics
Approach: Theoretical


Direct detection of relic neutrinos in a beta-decay experiment is an ambitious goal that has long been beyond the reach of available technology. One of the most challenging practical difficulties for such an experiment is managing a large amount of radioactive material without compromising the energy resolution required to distinguish useful events from the substantial beta-decay background. The PTOLEMY project offers an innovative solution to this problem by depositing radioactive material on graphene. While this approach is expected to address the main challenge, it introduces new issues due to the proximity of the beta decayers to a solid-state system. In this work, we focus on the effect of the shakeup of the graphene electron system caused by a beta-decay event. We calculate the distortion of the relic neutrino peaks resulting from this shakeup, analyze the impact of the distortion on the visibility of neutrino capture events, and discuss potential technological solutions to enhance the visibility of these events.

Author indications on fulfilling journal expectations

  • Provide a novel and synergetic link between different research areas.
  • Open a new pathway in an existing or a new research direction, with clear potential for multi-pronged follow-up work
  • Detail a groundbreaking theoretical/experimental/computational discovery
  • Present a breakthrough on a previously-identified and long-standing research stumbling block
Current status:
Accepted in target Journal

Editorial decision: For Journal SciPost Physics: Publish
(status: Editorial decision fixed and (if required) accepted by authors)

Reports on this Submission

Anonymous Report 1 on 2024-5-27 (Invited Report)


1- improved clarity of the manuscript.
2- thorough discussion of the consequences of entanglement between beta-electron and the rest of the system


1- too technical in some parts


In the second version of their manuscript, the authors have made an effort to accommodate my requests and clarify my doubts.
I think the paper has now improved in clarity and I have personally understood better the physics behind.
I am glad to recommend it for publication.


Publish (easily meets expectations and criteria for this Journal; among top 50%)

  • validity: high
  • significance: high
  • originality: high
  • clarity: good
  • formatting: good
  • grammar: excellent

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