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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Neutrino mass hierarchy and stepwise spectral swapping of supernova neutrino flavors.

  • Author(s): Duan, Huaiyu
  • Fuller, George M
  • Carlson, J
  • Qian, Yong-Zhong
  • et al.

We examine a phenomenon recently predicted by numerical simulations of supernova neutrino flavor evolution: the swapping of supernova nu(e) and nu(mu,tau) energy spectra below (above) energy E(C) for the normal (inverted) neutrino mass hierarchy. We present the results of large-scale numerical calculations which show that in the normal neutrino mass hierarchy case, E(C) decreases as the assumed effective 2x2 vacuum nu(e)<==>nu(mu,tau) mixing angle (approximately theta13) is decreased. In contrast, these calculations indicate that E(C) is essentially independent of the vacuum mixing angle in the inverted neutrino mass hierarchy case. With a good neutrino signal from a future galactic supernova, the above results could be used to determine the neutrino mass hierarchy even if theta13 is too small to be measured by terrestrial neutrino oscillation experiments.

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