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Searching for sterile neutrinos in ice

By Soebur Razzaque and A. Yu. Smirnov


Oscillation interpretation of the results from the LSND, MiniBooNE and some other experiments requires existence of sterile neutrino with mass $\sim 1$ eV and mixing with the active neutrinos $|U_{\mu 0}|^2 \sim (0.02 - 0.04)$. It has been realized some time ago that existence of such a neutrino affects significantly the fluxes of atmospheric neutrinos in the TeV range which can be tested by the IceCube Neutrino Observatory. In view of the first IceCube data release we have revisited the oscillations of high energy atmospheric neutrinos in the presence of one sterile neutrino. Properties of the oscillation probabilities are studied in details for various mixing schemes both analytically and numerically. The energy spectra and angular distributions of the $\nu_\mu-$events have been computed for the simplest $\nu_s-$mass, and $\nu_s - \nu_\mu$ mixing schemes and confronted with the IceCube data. An illustrative statistical analysis of the present data shows that in the $\nu_s-$mass mixing case the sterile neutrinos with parameters required by LSND/MiniBooNE can be excluded at about $3\sigma$ level. The $\nu_s- \nu_\mu$ mixing scheme, however, can not be ruled out with currently available IceCube data.Comment: 41 pages, 16 figures. Accepted for publication in JHEP. Minor changes from the previous versio

Topics: High Energy Physics - Phenomenology, Astrophysics - High Energy Astrophysical Phenomena, High Energy Physics - Experiment
Year: 2011
DOI identifier: 10.1007/JHEP07(2011)084
OAI identifier:
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