What is Higgs role in neutrino oscillation?

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Offline kenhikage

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What is Higgs role in neutrino oscillation?
« on: 21/07/2012 18:57:08 »
I recently read an article from last year stating that Fermilab had experimental confirmation that muon neutrinos freely convert into tau and electron neutrinos. What is the mechanism that allows this? What is the cause of said conversion? And what is the role of Higgs boson/field in this activity?

Perhaps I've misunderstood the whole thing. Either way, let me know.


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Offline imatfaal

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Re: What is Higgs role in neutrino oscillation?
« Reply #1 on: 23/07/2012 18:00:46 »
Ken - unfortunately I am not sure you have misunderstood it; but even worse it is way beyond my capabilities to explain. 

For many years the neutrino was thought to be massless and travel at the speed of light.  Both MINOS and CERN were investigating the oscillation of neutrino flavours (electron, mu, and tau - corresponding to the heavier charged leptons) - but I think this oscillation anomaly was discovered due to the fact that too many solar neutrinos were being detected as mu or tau rather than elextron. 

The solutions to the quantum mechanical equations for neutrinos before this had mass=0; but in order to get the standard model to work for a particle which oscillated flavours then a non-zero mass was necessary.   The SM implies a non-zero difference between the three flavours masses - which cannot be the case if they are all mass=0.  If yo want to read more you need to get into the idea of superposition - each flavour is actually a state (out of many possible) in which the weak interaction can take place (ie we can measure them being there) and represents a superposition of three neutrino states of fixed and definite mass.  Complicated and counterintuitive

how this connects with the higgs field I do not know - other than the simple idea that all massive elementary particles gain mass through interaction with the higgs field.
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Offline kenhikage

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Re: What is Higgs role in neutrino oscillation?
« Reply #2 on: 01/10/2012 00:26:25 »
Could it be that these three flavors actually are one particle with fluctuating interaction in the Higgs field? That is to say, the Higgs can't "decide" what wieght to give the neutrino?

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Offline yor_on

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Re: What is Higgs role in neutrino oscillation?
« Reply #3 on: 01/10/2012 13:46:34 »
As I've understood it it opens for other interactions than the Higgs. It questions the standard model as well.
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Offline imatfaal

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Re: What is Higgs role in neutrino oscillation?
« Reply #4 on: 01/10/2012 18:47:13 »
Ken - we all had a bash at explaining neutrino oscillation here -
http://www.thenakedscientists.com/forum/index.php?topic=45595.0
Thereís no sense in being precise when you donít even know what youíre talking about.  John Von Neumann

At the surface, we may appear as intellects, helpful people, friendly staff or protectors of the interwebs. Deep down inside, we're all trolls. CaptainPanic @ sf.n