skip to main content
OSTI.GOV title logo U.S. Department of Energy
Office of Scientific and Technical Information

Title: Addressing the Majorana vs. Dirac question with neutrino decays

Abstract

The Majorana versus Dirac nature of neutrinos remains an open question. This is due, in part, to the fact that virtually all the experimentally accessible neutrinos are ultra-relativistic. Noting that Majorana neutrinos can behave quite differently from Dirac ones when they are non-relativistic, we show that, at leading order, the angular distribution of the daughters in the decay of a heavy neutrino into a lighter one and a self-conjugate boson is isotropic in the parent's rest frame if the neutrinos are Majorana, independent of the parent's polarization. If the neutrinos are Dirac fermions, this is, in general, not the case. This result follows from CPT invariance and is independent of the details of the physics responsible for the decay. In conclusion, we explore the feasibility of using these angular distributions -- or, equivalently, the energy distributions of the daughters in the laboratory frame -- in order to address the Majorana versus Dirac nature of neutrinos if a fourth, heavier neutrino mass eigenstate reveals itself in the current or next-generation of high-energy colliders, intense meson facilities, or neutrino beam experiments.

Authors:
 [1];  [2];  [3]
  1. Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison, WI (United States)
  2. Northwestern Univ., Evanston, IL (United States)
  3. Fermi National Accelerator Lab. (FNAL), Batavia, IL (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Fermi National Accelerator Lab. (FNAL), Batavia, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), High Energy Physics (HEP) (SC-25)
OSTI Identifier:
1489299
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1478018
Report Number(s):
arXiv:1808.10518; FERMILAB-PUB-18-418-T; NUHEP-TH/18-09
Journal ID: ISSN 0370-2693; 1692399
Grant/Contract Number:  
AC02-07CH11359; SC0010143
Resource Type:
Journal Article: Published Article
Journal Name:
Physics Letters. Section B
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 789; Journal Issue: C; Journal ID: ISSN 0370-2693
Publisher:
Elsevier
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
73 NUCLEAR PHYSICS AND RADIATION PHYSICS; 72 PHYSICS OF ELEMENTARY PARTICLES AND FIELDS

Citation Formats

Balantekin, A. Baha, de Gouvêa, André, and Kayser, Boris. Addressing the Majorana vs. Dirac question with neutrino decays. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.1016/j.physletb.2018.11.068.
Balantekin, A. Baha, de Gouvêa, André, & Kayser, Boris. Addressing the Majorana vs. Dirac question with neutrino decays. United States. doi:10.1016/j.physletb.2018.11.068.
Balantekin, A. Baha, de Gouvêa, André, and Kayser, Boris. Wed . "Addressing the Majorana vs. Dirac question with neutrino decays". United States. doi:10.1016/j.physletb.2018.11.068.
@article{osti_1489299,
title = {Addressing the Majorana vs. Dirac question with neutrino decays},
author = {Balantekin, A. Baha and de Gouvêa, André and Kayser, Boris},
abstractNote = {The Majorana versus Dirac nature of neutrinos remains an open question. This is due, in part, to the fact that virtually all the experimentally accessible neutrinos are ultra-relativistic. Noting that Majorana neutrinos can behave quite differently from Dirac ones when they are non-relativistic, we show that, at leading order, the angular distribution of the daughters in the decay of a heavy neutrino into a lighter one and a self-conjugate boson is isotropic in the parent's rest frame if the neutrinos are Majorana, independent of the parent's polarization. If the neutrinos are Dirac fermions, this is, in general, not the case. This result follows from CPT invariance and is independent of the details of the physics responsible for the decay. In conclusion, we explore the feasibility of using these angular distributions -- or, equivalently, the energy distributions of the daughters in the laboratory frame -- in order to address the Majorana versus Dirac nature of neutrinos if a fourth, heavier neutrino mass eigenstate reveals itself in the current or next-generation of high-energy colliders, intense meson facilities, or neutrino beam experiments.},
doi = {10.1016/j.physletb.2018.11.068},
journal = {Physics Letters. Section B},
issn = {0370-2693},
number = C,
volume = 789,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {1}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record at 10.1016/j.physletb.2018.11.068

Citation Metrics:
Cited by: 3 works
Citation information provided by
Web of Science

Figures / Tables:

Fig. 1 Fig. 1: The decay N → νl + X.

Save / Share:
Figures/Tables have been extracted from DOE-funded journal article accepted manuscripts.