Astroparticle Physics Volume 16, Issue 3, January 2002, Pages 205-234
(Submitted 29 November 2000, Accepted 26 January 2001, Available online 27 November 2001).
In memory of Sandro Vitale
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.