374 research outputs found

    Neutrino physics theory

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    Neutrino physics covers a wide range in theoretical physics. I briefly review the state of the art of neutrino theory, with particular regard to the measure of masses and mixings. Some issues for the future are outlined

    On detecting oscillations of gamma rays into axion-like particles in turbulent and coherent magnetic fields

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    Background radiation fields pervade the Universe, and above a certain energy any γ\gamma-ray flux emitted by an extragalactic source should be attenuated due to e+e−e^+e^- pair production. The opacity could be alleviated if photons oscillated into hypothetical axion-like particles (ALPs) in ambient magnetic fields, leading to a γ\gamma-ray excess especially at high optical depths that could be detected with imaging air Cherenkov telescopes (IACTs). Here, we introduce a method to search for such a signal in γ\gamma-ray data and to estimate sensitivities for future observations. Different magnetic fields close to the γ\gamma-ray source are taken into account in which photons can convert into ALPs that then propagate unimpeded over cosmological distances until they re-convert in the magnetic field of the Milky Way. Specifically, we consider the coherent field at parsec scales in a blazar jet as well as the turbulent field inside a galaxy cluster. For the latter, we explicitly derive the transversal components of a magnetic field with gaussian turbulence which are responsible for the photon-ALP mixing. To illustrate the method, we apply it to a mock IACT array with characteristics similar to the Cherenkov Telescope Array and investigate the dependence of the sensitivity to detect a γ\gamma-ray excess on the magnetic-field parameters.Comment: 31 pages, 9 figures. Published in JCA

    Reionization during the dark ages from a cosmic axion background

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    Recently it has been pointed out that a cosmic background of relativistic axion-like particles (ALPs) would be produced by the primordial decays of heavy fields in the post-inflation epoch, contributing to the extra-radiation content in the Universe today. Primordial magnetic fields would trigger conversions of these ALPs into sub-MeV photons during the dark ages. This photon flux would produce an early reionization of the Universe, leaving a significant imprint on the total optical depth to recombination τ\tau. Using the current measurement of τ\tau and the limit on the extra-radiation content ΔNeff\Delta N_{\rm eff} by the Planck experiment we put a strong bound on the ALP-photon conversions. Namely we obtain upper limits on the product of the photon-ALP coupling constant gaγg_{a\gamma} times the magnetic field strength BB down to gaγB≳6×10−18GeV−1nGg_{a\gamma} B \gtrsim 6 \times 10^{-18} \textrm{GeV}^{-1} \textrm{nG} for ultralight ALPs.Comment: 23 pages, 6 figures. Minor changes, references added. Prepared for publication in JCA

    Revisiting cosmological bounds on radiative neutrino lifetime

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    Neutrino oscillation experiments and direct bounds on absolute masses constrain neutrino mass differences to fall into the microwave energy range, for most of the allowed parameter space. As a consequence of these recent phenomenological advances, older constraints on radiative neutrino decays based on diffuse background radiations and assuming strongly hierarchical masses in the eV range are now outdated. We thus derive new bounds on the radiative neutrino lifetime using the high precision cosmic microwave background spectral data collected by the Far Infrared Absolute Spectrophotometer instrument on board of Cosmic Background Explorer. The lower bound on the lifetime is between a few x 10^19 s and 5 x 10^20 s, depending on the neutrino mass ordering and on the absolute mass scale. However, due to phase space limitations, the upper bound in terms of the effective magnetic moment mediating the decay is not better than ~ 10^-8 Bohr magnetons. We also comment about possible improvements of these limits, by means of recent diffuse infrared photon background data. We compare these bounds with pre-existing limits coming from laboratory or astrophysical arguments. We emphasize the complementarity of our results with others available in the literature.Comment: 7 pages, 3 figures. Minor changes in the text, few references added. Matches the published versio

    Le oscillazioni di neutrino

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    Axion-like particles from primordial black holes shining through the Universe

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    We consider a cosmological scenario in which the very early Universe experienced a transient epoch of matter domination due to the formation of a large population of primordial black holes (PBHs) with masses M≲109 gM \lesssim 10^{9}\,\textrm{g}, that evaporate before Big Bang nucleosynthesis. In this context, Hawking radiation would be a non-thermal mechanism to produce a cosmic background of axion-like particles (ALPs). We assume the minimal scenario in which these ALPs couple only with photons. In the case of ultralight ALPs (ma≲10−9 eVm_a \lesssim 10^{-9}\,\textrm{eV}) the cosmic magnetic fields might trigger ALP-photon conversions, while for masses ma≳10 eVm_a \gtrsim 10\,\textrm{eV} spontaneous ALP decay in photon pairs would be effective. We investigate the impact of these mechanisms on the cosmic X-ray background, on the excess in X-ray luminosity in Galaxy Clusters, and on the process of cosmic reionization.Comment: (33 pages, 12 pdf figures

    Solar neutrino oscillations in the quasi-vacuum regime

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    Motivated by recent experimental data, we study solar neutrino oscillations in the range 10^-10 < delta m^2/E < 10^-7 eV^2/MeV. In this range vacuum oscillations become increasingly affected by (solar and terrestrial) matter effects for increasing delta m^2, smoothly reaching the MSW regime. A numerical study of matter effects in such "quasi-vacuum" regime is performed. The results are applied to the analysis of the recent solar neutrino phenomenology.Comment: 4 pages, 2 figures. Talk given at Europhysics Neutrino Oscillation Workshop (NOW 2000), Conca Specchiulla, Otranto, Lecce, Italy, 9-16 Sep 2000. Figure 2 correcte
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