Space-time induces Neutrino Oscillations
- Posted By
Science & Technology
19th Jun, 2021
A study conducted by the National Centre for Basic Sciences (SNBNCBS) shown that the geometry of space-time can cause neutrinos to oscillate.
- The study was supported under the Department of Science & Technology (DST).
About Neutrinos and their oscillation
- They are mysterious particles, produced copiously in nuclear reactions in the Sun, stars, and elsewhere.
- Neutrinos interact very weakly.
- They oscillate and different types of neutrinos change into one another.
- The phenomenon of neutrino oscillations requires neutrinos to have tiny masses.
- Probing oscillations of neutrinos and their relations with mass are crucial in studying the origin of the universe.
Findings of the study
- The geometry of space-time can cause neutrino oscillations through quantum effects even if neutrinos are massless.
- Einstein’s theory of general relativity says that gravitation is the manifestation of space-time curvature.
- The neutrinos, electrons, protons, and other particles which are in the category of fermions show a certain peculiarity when they move in presence of gravity.
- Space-time induces a quantum force in addition to gravity between every two fermions.
- This force can depend on the spin of the particles and causes massless neutrinos to appear massive when they pass through matter, like the Sun’s corona or the Earth’s atmosphere.
- Something similar happens for electroweak interactions, and together with the geometrically induced mass, it is enough to cause oscillation of neutrinos.