University of Minnesota
School of Physics & Astronomy

Physics and Astronomy Calendar

Friday, November 13th 2015
11:15 am:
Speaker: Cheng-Hsien Li (U Minnesota)
Subject: Do Neutrino Wave Packets Overlap?

It is generally assumed that neutrino wave packets (WPs) do not overlap when they emerge from the source. We examine this assumption by modeling neutrinos as Gaussian WPs. A 3D solution with proper spherical shape has been derived to describe the propagation of a massless Gaussian WP. By using this 3D solution, we define the volume "occupied" by each WP to be the region in which the probability of finding the neutrino is 90%. A numerical factor is further defined as an indicator of the extent to which the WPs overlap in space. In particular, we consider the overlap among those neutrinos with mean energies differing by no more than the intrinsic energy uncertainty in a WP. The overlap factor depends on how sharp the transverse momentum distribution of the initial WP is and the differential production rate of the neutrino source. The estimate of the factor suggests that such WP overlap is significant for solar and supernova neutrinos and is potentially significant for neutrinos from radioactive sources and fission reactors. We raise the question of whether the ferminonic nature of neutrinos affect experimental observables if such overlap is significant.

The weekly calendar is also available via subscription to the physics-announce mailing list, and by RSS feed.