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Daya Bay and the search for sterile neutrinos

22 Sep 2016, 01:45 UTC
Daya Bay and the search for sterile neutrinos Qiang Xiao
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

Article: Improved search for a light sterile neutrino with the full configuration of the Daya Bay Experiment
Authors: Daya Bay Collaboration
Reference: arXiv:1607.01174
Today I bring you news from the Daya Bay reactor neutrino experiment, which detects neutrinos emitted by three nuclear power plants on the southern coast of China. The results in this paper are based on the first 621 days of data, through November 2013; more data remain to be analyzed, and we can expect a final result after the experiment ends in 2017.
Figure 1: Antineutrino detectors installed in the far hall of the Daya Bay experiment. Source: LBL news release.
For more on sterile neutrinos, see also this recent post by Eve.
Neutrino oscillations
Neutrinos exist in three flavors, each corresponding to one of the charged leptons: electron neutrinos (), muon neutrinos () and tau neutrinos (). When a neutrino is born via the weak interaction, it is created in a particular flavor eigenstate. So, for example, a neutrino born in the sun is always an electron neutrino. However, the electron neutrino does not have a definite mass. Instead, each flavor eigenstate is a linear combination of the three mass eigenstates. This “mixing” of the flavor ...

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