Analysis of collective neutrino flavor transformation in supernovae

Huaiyu Duan, George M. Fuller, J. Carlson, Yong Zhong Qian

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126 Scopus citations

Abstract

We study the flavor evolution of a dense gas initially consisting of pure monoenergetic νe and ν̄e. Using adiabatic invariants and the special symmetry in such a system we are able to calculate the flavor evolution of the neutrino gas for the cases with slowly decreasing neutrino number densities. These calculations give new insights into the results of recent large-scale numerical simulations of neutrino flavor transformation in supernovae. For example, our calculations reveal the existence of what we term the "collective precession mode." Our analyses suggest that neutrinos which travel on intersecting trajectories subject to destructive quantum interference nevertheless can be in this mode. This mode can result in sharp transitions in the final energy-dependent neutrino survival probabilities across all trajectories, a feature seen in the numerical simulations. Moreover, this transition is qualitatively different for the normal and inverted neutrino mass hierarchies. Exploiting this difference, the neutrino signals from a future galactic supernova can potentially be used to determine the actual neutrino mass hierarchy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number125005
JournalPhysical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology
Volume75
Issue number12
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 5 2007

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