STERILE OSCILLATION FORMULA REMINDER

ADAM ANDERSON

In a recent meeting, Josh observed that short baseline neutrino experiments which measure different processes are sensitive to different parameters in the (3+1) neutrino model, and they may not be directly comparable to each other. The model parameters that are experimentally accessible depend on the flavor of the neutrino source and the flavors to which the detector is sensitive. The specifics of this seemingly obvious point are often obscured if one does not think about the model mathematically. This note is just a quick reminder to myself of the oscillation formulae for several short baseline sterile searches. These results are in many books and papers (even, in fact, in our recent paper arXiv:1201:3805). The standard oscillation probability for the 3-neutrino model also applies to the (3+1) model. The probability for a neutrino of energy E and flavor α to oscillate into flavor β over baseline L is given by: (1) P(να → νβ ) = δαβ − 4
i>j ∗ ∗ (Uαi Uβi Uαj Uβj ) sin2 xij + 2 i>j ∗ ∗ (Uαi Uβi Uαj Uβj ) sin 2xij ,

where i = 1, 2, 3, 4 labels the mass eigenstates, α = e, µ, τ, s labels the flavor eigenstates, Uαi are the matrix elements of the (4 × 4) neutrino mixing matrix, and xij = 1.23∆m2 L/E, in ij the usual notation. Because we are primarily interested in the hints of sterile neutrinos from LSND, the reactor anomaly, and MiniBooNE, we specialize to the case of ∆m2 ∼ 1 eV2 41 ∆m2 we can make the approximations and L/E ∼ 1. Since ∆m2 ∆m2 and ∆m2 41 32 31 41 x21 ∼ x32 ∼ 0 and x41 ∼ x42 ∼ x43 . These are all the preliminaries we need to begin calculating. 1. Ricochet Ricochet is measuring νe → νe , νµ , ντ , or equivalently, νe → νs within the context of the ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ ¯ (3+1) model without CP violation. So the oscillation probability is P(¯e → νs ) = −4 ν ¯
∗ ∗ ∗ ∗ ∗ ∗ (Ue4 Us4 Ue1 Us1 ) sin2 x41 + (Ue4 Us4 Ue2 Us2 ) sin2 x42 + (Ue4 Us4 Ue3 Us3 ) sin2 x43 ∗ ∗ ∗ ∗ ∗ ∗ 2 [ (Ue4 Us4 Ue1 Us1 ) sin 2x41 + (Ue4 Us4 Ue2 Us2 ) sin 2x42 + (Ue4 Us4 Ue3 Us3 ) sin 2x43 ] .

Since the neutrino mixing matrix is unitary, its rows and columns are orthogonal, and we have the following relation
∗ ∗ ∗ ∗ 0 = Ue1 Us1 + Ue2 Us2 + Ue3 Us3 + Ue4 Us4 .

Upon substitution of the unitarity relation and using the relations between the xij s, we find that
∗ ∗ ∗ ∗ P(¯e → νs ) = 4 (Ue4 Us4 Ue4 Us4 ) sin2 x41 − 2 (Ue4 Us4 Ue4 Us4 ) sin 2x41 ν ¯

= 4 |Ue4 |2 |Us4 |2 sin2 x41 .
Date: May 8, 2012.
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up to an overall phase (exactly the same as in the CKM formalism where absorbing one phase per quark field is a little more intuitive). they produce muon neutrinos and detect electron neutrinos (νµ → νe or νµ → νe ). 3. Third. The quantity that is a little more conceptually comparable to the Ricochet formula is the disappearance probability P(¯e → ν/ ) = 4 |Ue4 |2 (1 − |Ue4 |2 ) sin2 x41 . to write oscillation formulas explicitly in terms of matrix elements because it hides the fact that there are many redundant degrees of freedom in the matrix. in general. these neutrino oscillation formulas are a big mess in the standard parameterization in terms of rotation matrices—the downside of using a non-degenerate parameterization. Of course. 2 . but for a neutrino mixing matrix N 2 are lost due the unitarity constraint of the matrix. Using equation (1). the “mixing angles” measured by different experiments are obviously different. Finally. NC and CC are quite complimentary because they allow us to check the logical consistency of the entire paradigm over two dimensions in parameter space. and invoking unitarity ¯ ¯ 1 = |Ue1 |2 + |Ue2 |2 + |Ue3 |2 + |Ue4 |2 . An N × N matrix has 2N 2 real degrees of freedom (N 2 real + N 2 imaginary). under the reassignments e → µ and s → e. So a neutrino mixing matrix only has (N − 1)2 real degrees of freedom. P(νµ → νe ) = 4 |Uµ4 |2 |Ue4 |2 sin2 x41 . LSND & MiniBooNE When LSND and MiniBooNE search for sterile neutrinos. This was extremely powerful in SNO. First. ν ¯e 4. and it is a shame we have not thought of a way to measure both CC and NC in a single experiment at short baseline. Short baseline reactor experiments with inverse beta decay Some experiments have proposed putting liquid scintillator detectors near nuclear reactors or other electron (anti-)neutrino sources. The oscillation formula is the same as ¯ ¯ in the previous section. These experiments are only sensitive to the oscillation channel νe → νe .2. it is misleading. Second. there is a degeneracy of two matrix elements that will always be present in an NC measurement. An additional 2N − 1 real degrees of freedom are lost because one phase can be absorbed by each of the neutrino mass and flavor eigenstate fields. This is bad from the point of view of measurement. we find the oscillation formula P(¯e → νe ) = 1 − 4 |Ue4 |2 |Ue1 |2 sin2 x41 + |Ue4 |2 |Ue2 |2 sin2 x42 + |Ue4 |2 |Ue3 |2 sin2 x43 ν ¯ = 1 − 4 |Ue4 |2 sin2 x41 (1 − |Ue4 |2 ) . Comments These formulas clarify a few points. even for the case of CC and NC searches with reactor neutrinos.

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