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Title: Shining light on the mass scale and nature of neutrinos with e γ e ν ν ¯

Abstract

The discovery of neutrino oscillations invites many fundamental physics questions that have yet to be answered. Two of these questions are simple, easy to state, and essential: What are the values of the neutrino masses? Are neutrinos Majorana fermions? The reason we do not know the answer to those questions is that it is difficult to measure neutrino properties outside of the ultrarelativistic regime. We discuss the physics of e γ e ν ν ¯ near threshold, where one has access to nonrelativistic neutrinos and only nonrelativistic neutrinos. Near threshold, e γ e ν ν ¯ is a rich phenomenon and its cross section is sensitive to the individual values of the neutrino masses and the nature of the neutrinos. We show that if one could scan the threshold region, it would be simple to identify the mass of the lightest neutrino, the neutrino mass ordering, and whether the neutrinos are Majorana fermions. In practice, however, event rates are tiny and backgrounds are huge; the observation of e γ e ν ν ¯ in the sub-eV regime appears to be utterly inaccessible in the laboratory. Our results, nonetheless, effectively illustrate the discriminatory power of nonrelativistic neutrino observables.

Authors:
; ; ;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Northwestern Univ., Evanston, IL (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE
OSTI Identifier:
1460750
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1498841
Grant/Contract Number:  
de-sc0018327; de-sc0010143; sc0010143
Resource Type:
Published Article
Journal Name:
Physical Review D
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Name: Physical Review D Journal Volume: 98 Journal Issue: 1; Journal ID: ISSN 2470-0010
Publisher:
American Physical Society
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
72 PHYSICS OF ELEMENTARY PARTICLES AND FIELDS

Citation Formats

Berryman, Jeffrey M., de Gouvêa, André, Kelly, Kevin J., and Schmitt, Michael. Shining light on the mass scale and nature of neutrinos with e γ → e ν ν ¯. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1103/PhysRevD.98.016009.
Berryman, Jeffrey M., de Gouvêa, André, Kelly, Kevin J., & Schmitt, Michael. Shining light on the mass scale and nature of neutrinos with e γ → e ν ν ¯. United States. doi:10.1103/PhysRevD.98.016009.
Berryman, Jeffrey M., de Gouvêa, André, Kelly, Kevin J., and Schmitt, Michael. Wed . "Shining light on the mass scale and nature of neutrinos with e γ → e ν ν ¯". United States. doi:10.1103/PhysRevD.98.016009.
@article{osti_1460750,
title = {Shining light on the mass scale and nature of neutrinos with e γ → e ν ν ¯},
author = {Berryman, Jeffrey M. and de Gouvêa, André and Kelly, Kevin J. and Schmitt, Michael},
abstractNote = {The discovery of neutrino oscillations invites many fundamental physics questions that have yet to be answered. Two of these questions are simple, easy to state, and essential: What are the values of the neutrino masses? Are neutrinos Majorana fermions? The reason we do not know the answer to those questions is that it is difficult to measure neutrino properties outside of the ultrarelativistic regime. We discuss the physics of eγ→eνν¯ near threshold, where one has access to nonrelativistic neutrinos and only nonrelativistic neutrinos. Near threshold, eγ→eνν¯ is a rich phenomenon and its cross section is sensitive to the individual values of the neutrino masses and the nature of the neutrinos. We show that if one could scan the threshold region, it would be simple to identify the mass of the lightest neutrino, the neutrino mass ordering, and whether the neutrinos are Majorana fermions. In practice, however, event rates are tiny and backgrounds are huge; the observation of eγ→eνν¯ in the sub-eV regime appears to be utterly inaccessible in the laboratory. Our results, nonetheless, effectively illustrate the discriminatory power of nonrelativistic neutrino observables.},
doi = {10.1103/PhysRevD.98.016009},
journal = {Physical Review D},
number = 1,
volume = 98,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {7}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
Publisher's Version of Record
DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevD.98.016009

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

Figures / Tables:

FIG. 1 FIG. 1: Cross section of producing individual final states of neutrinos (colored) and total cross section (black) for a normal hierarchy (left) and inverted hierarchy (right) for m0 = 10−3 eV, as a function of the incoming photon energy Eγ. We divide the cross sections by E$4\atop{γ}$ , as themore » cross section grows with E4γ well above threshold. Here, neutrinos are assumed to be Dirac particles.« less

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