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Neutrino Oscillations induced by Space-time

  • Category
    Science & Technology
  • Published
    30th 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.

Context

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

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.

Space-time

  • Space-time is a mathematical model which fuses the three dimensions of space and the one dimension of time into a single four-dimensional manifold. 
  • Spacetime diagrams can be used to visualize relativistic effects, such as why different observers perceive differently where and when events occur.
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