Neutrino oscillations at very high energy/matter density

University essay from KTH/Fysik

Abstract: Neutrino oscillations in matter can be studied in different regimes, depending on the energy of the incoming neutrinos and the matter density of the medium. In this thesis we investigate neutrino oscillations in dense matter at very high energy (TeV-PeV range), taking into account the absorption that the neutrinos may undergo in such dense media. This absorption phenomenon is relevant for neutrino telescope measurements of astrophysical neutrinos. We begin with a brief reminder on neutrino oscillations in vacuum and the construction of the PMNS matrix. Then, we proceed with calculations for dense matter. We then explore the accuracy of the resulting effective 2-neutrino mixing formulas. They present a good accuracy for Earth-like densities in our range of energies. We develop the calculations for oscillation probabilities in dense matter with absorption through charged-current inelastic scattering for both the two-neutrino and three-neutrino case. We find that in dense media, astrophysical neutrinos indeed undergoabsorption, which reduces signicantly the fluxes for each flavor, with a resonant absorption of electron-anti-neutrinos around E_{res}\simeq 6.3PeV. We discuss the impact of neutrino absorption in the Earth for neutrino telescopes measurements. We find that solar and lunar shadowing is not problematic for current telescopes but could be a good angular resolution indicator for new telescopes to come.

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