The Disappearing Theory of Oscillating Neutrinosby John Williams Tags: disappearing, neutrinos, oscillating, theory 

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Apr2507, 09:30 AM

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20070425 jmw:
Topic: The Disappearing Theory of Oscillating Neutrinos The problem gradually has been recognized over the past several decades: Experiments and observations, notably the K2K experiment, have found that the creation flux of neutrinos of a given flavor (flavors are named electron, muon, or tauon) exceeds their destruction flux. Neutrinos seem to disappear in flight. A theory of quantum oscillation has been proposed to explain these disappearances. This theory can curvefit the data, but it is based on a weakly constrained matrix (below), so the fit itself does not confirm the theory well. Only one experiment ever seemed to show an appearance of a new flavor while a different flavor was disappearing: The LSND experiment. Recently, a replication of LSND, MiniBOONE, yielded enough data to allow one to conclude that the LSND result was a fluke of chance and was wrong: There was no such appearance. This leaves physicists with no evidence of any oscillation, only of disappearance. The oscillation theory is based on a mixing matrix which transforms a flavor vector to a vector of mass. The matrix is invertible and generally is assumed to relate three mass eigenstates to three flavor eigenstates. To ease the calculations, often just two (dominant) flavors are assumed, making the matrix 2x2. A transformation yielding a mass vector with two components zero would yield a mass eigenstate; a transformation yielding a flavor vector with two components zero would yield a flavor eigenstate. The usual theory assumes that a neutrino creation or destruction interaction must be defined by a flavor eigenstate; therefore, because the mixing matrix is assumed nondiagonal, the neutrino's mass must be "indefinite"  the interaction does not involve a mass eigenstate. This assumption allows the theory to calculate neutrino propagation quantum mechanically, the mass eigenstate wavefunction phases being treated separately, so that the creation and destruction points imply a massvector phase shift during propagation. Because the mass phase has changed during propagation, given a flavor eigenstate at creation, the probability of a different flavor at destruction may be different from zero. Thus, neutrino flavor oscillates as a function of propagation distance. A detector designed to detect a certain relative frequency of electron or muon neutrinos at one distance should detect a different frequency at a different distance. The fact that no appearance of a fraction of a new flavor ever has been detected has been explained as a flaw in the experiments or the flavor calculations, which are based on computer simulations and are very complicated. However, there is a fundamental problem: Misuse of the phrase "the mass is indefinite". Quantum mechanics ONLY deals with interaction probabilities; it does not deal with velocities or distances. The neutrino propagation distance is not an interaction, and the mass can not be "indefinite" during propagation. A specific neutrino particle must have a specific mass during propagation. Otherwise, neither momentum conservation nor energy conservation can be asserted, both depending on the mass of a massive particle. Noone has claimed that the propagation of a neutrino is in a virtual interval in which energy might "briefly" (in this relativisticinterval context) be nonconserved. If they did, they would imply a mass eigenstate outside the propagation interval, and, in particular, during the interactions. Instead, theorists have argued interminably whether their calculations (formally) should assume energy or mass conservation and derive the other conservation. The results differ quantitatively and are a constant source of dispute in the field. I can supply references if a reader is interested. The problem is that the theory itself, as currently formulated, is inconsistent with the rest of physics. It is mostly consistent, but not entirely so. The inconsistency arises because of misuse of "the mass is indefinite". Yes, quantummechanically, a quantity such as location or energy often can not be predicted. The "mass is indefinite"? Maybe, but, in all the rest of quantum mechanics, the mass COULD be known precisely AFTER the interaction in question has occurred. Nope. Not according to the current theory: The mass is forever "indefinite"  if it weren't so, the theory would not work and the flavor would fall into a noneigen state. We need nore thought on this problem. The last experiment showing a oscillation INTO a flavor, LSND, has been rejected, and all there is anymore, is disappearance. Who has a better theory of neutrino disappearance? Is it possible that neutrinos might decay? What about their interaction crosssection? Is it possible the crosssection might decrease as a function of proper time in propagation? Any other ideas? Help! 


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