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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Flavor changing supersymmetry interactions in a supernova

  • Author(s): Amanik, Philip S
  • Fuller, George M
  • Grinstein, Benjamin
  • et al.

We consider for the first time flavor changing neutral currents (FCNC's) in the infall stage of stellar collapse. We take as an example R-Parity violating interactions of the minimal standard supersymmetric model involving neutrinos and quarks. However, our considerations extend to other kinds of flavor changing neutrino reactions as well. We examine non-forward neutrino scattering processes on heavy nuclei and free nucleons in the supernova core. This investigation has led to four principal original discoveries/products: (1) first calculation of neutrino flavor changing cross sections for spin 1/2 (e.g., free nucleon) and spin 0 nuclear targets; (2) discovery of nuclear mass number squared (A2) coherent amplification of neutrino-quark FCNC's; (3) analysis of FCNC-induced alteration of electron capture and weak/nuclear equilibrium in the collapsing core; and (4) generalization of the calculated cross sections (mentioned in 1) for the case of hot heavy nuclei to be used in collapse/supernova and neutrino transport simulations. The scattering processes that we consider allow electron neutrinos to change flavor during core collapse, thereby opening holes in the Ve sea, which allows electron capture to proceed and results in a lower core electron fraction Ye. A lower Ye implies a lower homologous core mass, a lower shock energy, and a greater nuclear photo-disintegration burden for the shock. In addition, unlike the standard supernova model, the core now could have net muon and/or tau lepton numbers. These effects could be significant even for supersymmetric couplings below current experimental bounds. © 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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