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Seasonal Neutrinos at Cern Courier

  1. May 28, 2006 #1

    CarlB

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    Okay, I admit that I laughed out loud when I saw this title at the Cern Courier, but it wasn't laughter at the observation being wrong...

    Are neutrinos seasonal?
    http://www.cerncourier.com/main/article/39/1/6

    Carl
     
  2. jcsd
  3. May 28, 2006 #2

    SpaceTiger

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    It doesn't make much sense to me that the neutrinos would organize themselves into a disk. Their low interaction cross section makes it extremely difficult for them to dissipate energy -- if anything, I would expect a nearly spherical halo of neutrinos around the sun.
     
  4. May 28, 2006 #3

    CarlB

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    I agree. If anything, the experiment should be jumped on by certain parties as evidence for a preferred reference frame.

    I'm going to have to look at the sources, but I don't have time. Maybe some kind person will link them in.

    Carl
     
  5. May 28, 2006 #4

    Moonbear

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    Dumb question time...IF this observation is upheld, is it something that could/would affect anything about the sunlight reaching the Earth that might be perceivable by organisms? If the answer is a big fat NO, I don't need any further explanation. I know this is a vague question, but I don't understand enough about this topic to refine it better. I just latched onto the seasonal bit, because I study seasonality in organisms, and if there's something about the sunlight that actually changes in a predictable seasonal pattern, other than day length and color spectrum due to the angle in relation to the Earth (which isn't really a change in the sunlight so much as where it hits the planet), that might be useful information for me.
     
  6. May 28, 2006 #5

    SpaceTiger

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    I'm afraid it is, though I certainly wouldn't call it a dumb question. Neutrinos don't directly interact with light, so they wouldn't have an impact on biological systems. On the other hand, if the neutrino disk were real, then it might imply something about the dynamical history of the solar system that we weren't previously aware of -- that is, the events that led to the "neutrino disk" might have also had other consequences. It's really hard to say at this point, however. I would definitely put my bet on the interpretation (if not the observation) being flat out wrong.
     
  7. May 28, 2006 #6

    Moonbear

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    Okay, thanks. And thanks for the added explanation that helps put the significance of the finding in a bit of perspective for those of us who know nothing else of this subject than what's in the linked article. :smile:
     
  8. May 29, 2006 #7
    Very interesting problem, Carl.
    Try here for some details:
    http://www.inr.troitsk.ru/~trdat/papers/b91-2001.pdf

    Included is a good description of the 6 mo. time evolution of the anamoly (in the Troitsk group results), the energy difference, and possible systematic effects.
    Mainz Group, (also using Beta decay end points) operating with the same sensitivity and similar spectrometers, has not confirmed the anamoly. However, they do have different Tritium sources, IOW, different methods of Tritium production.

    Could be an environmental..:uhh: Maybe the Troitsk City nuclear reactors are seasonally adjusted...: :wink:

    Creator
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2006
  9. May 29, 2006 #8

    CarlB

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    Creator:

    Thanks for the link. I guess I didn't find it very convincing. Maybe there is something about the experiment that I don't understand, but it looks to me like close enough to random chance.

    Particle physics has a long history of finding particles that were just randomness. It's a tough business. You have to choose between not publishing early and then having somebody else get the credit, or publishing early and then eventually ending up wrong.

    Carl
     
  10. May 29, 2006 #9
    Hello Carl:

    Well, since all these Tritium beta decay end points measurements are a mere 10^-13 or so of the total decay intensity, I guess operating 'close to random chance' is the nature of the beast. The anamoly appears to have boosted that amount by 3 orders of magnitude or so I believe.


    I agree; you are probably more familiar with that than I am.
    Apparently the anamolous data have been recorded for over 5 years, making them overdue for resolution.

    My own opinion as I initially thought on these data was that it appears to be another signature (of a separate interaction) superimposed on the neutrino interaction. IOW, we may be naive to think neutrinos are unique in promoting spontaneous (tritium) Beta decay, especially in light of our knowledge that the involved weak interaction violates parity. Thus, even if there is no systematic errror, attributing the anamoly solely to increased neutrino flux may be erroneous.
    IOW, we should at least suspect other mechanisms may be involved; in particular, it seems weak interaction parity violation may (should) become particularly evident at such low energies with polarized particles. :confused: Possibly a solar interaction that affects parity?

    Furthermore, apparently the Mainz Group appears to 'mask over' the anamoly by using a large 'uncertainty' in data collecton if I am reading the report correctly:confused:
    Just my thoughts.....could be my over active imagination. :biggrin:

    Creator:biggrin:
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2006
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