Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Possible Detection of Sterile Neutrinos?

It looks like the MiniBooNE experiment is producing very tantalizing results that might point to the existence of sterile neutrinos.

An electron neutrino might become a muon neutrino, and then later an electron neutrino again. Scientists previously believed three flavors of neutrino exist. In this Mini Booster Neutrino Experiment, dubbed MiniBooNE, researchers detected more oscillations than would be possible if there were only three flavors.

"These results imply that there are either new particles or forces we had not previously imagined," said Byron Roe, professor emeritus in the Department of Physics, and an author of a paper on the results newly published online in Physical Review Letters[1].

"The simplest explanation involves adding new neutrino-like particles, or sterile neutrinos, which do not have the normal weak interactions."


[1] A. A. Aguilar-Arevalo et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 105, 181801 (2010).

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