Can elementary particles change their flavor in flight?

December 5, 2018, University of Jyväskylä
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

Can elementary particles change their flavor in flight?

The answer is yes, though it only applies to the most elusive kind of . A recent Ph.D. thesis in University of Jyväskylä, Finland, finds that the properties of the ghost-like , the so-called , can be studied at a high precision in the next generation of accelerator-based experiments.

In his fresh Ph.D. thesis, Sampsa Vihonen explored how accurately the mixing of the neutrino flavors and masses can be measured in the so-called long baseline neutrino experiments. Long baseline experiments are a type of particle physics experiments where intense beams of neutrinos and antineutrinos are sent to traverse very long distances underground. Vihonen's thesis focuses on the numerical evaluation of the precision at which the properties of the neutrino mixing can be measured.

"I focused on the determination of the octant of the mixing angle theta23, which is the dominant parameter that governs the metamorphosis of neutrinos that are born in the Earth's atmosphere," says Vihonen.

Neutrinos can oscillate from one particle type to another, which is caused by the mysterious entanglement of the neutrino masses and their flavors. The mechanism that dictates the is yet to be determined precisely, though, and it takes careful planning to reach the precision that is necessary to understand the fundamental properties of neutrinos.

M.Sc. Sampsa Vihonenwill defend his doctoral dissertation in under the title "Numerical studies on neutrino oscillations in long baseline experiments" on Wednesday 5th of December at 12 o'clock. The opponent of the event is professor Mattias Blennow (KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden) and custos professor Kimmo Kainulainen (University of Jyväskylä). The language of the event is English.

Sampsa Vihonen graduated from high school at Jyväskylän Normaalikoulu in 2006 and obtained his Master's degree in theoretical physics at the University of Jyväskylä in 2014. He has also worked as visiting scientist at the University of Lisbon in Portugal.

Explore further: Possible explanation for excess of electron neutrinos detected by IceCube Neutrino Observatory

More information: Numerical studies on neutrino oscillation physics in long baseline experiments.

Related Stories

New results confirm standard neutrino theory

February 16, 2010

( -- In its search for a better understanding of the mysterious neutrinos, a group of experimenters at DOE’s Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory has announced results that confirm the theory of neutrino oscillations ...

Best precision yet for neutrino measurements at Daya Bay

September 11, 2015

In the Daya Bay region of China, about 55 kilometers northeast of Hong Kong, a research project is underway to study ghostlike, elusive particles called neutrinos. Today, the international Daya Bay Collaboration announces ...

Recommended for you

Rapid and continuous 3-D printing with light

January 22, 2019

Three-dimensional (3-D) printing, also known as additive manufacturing (AM), can transform a material layer by layer to build an object of interest. 3-D printing is not a new concept, since stereolithography printers have ...

Scientists discover new quantum spin liquid

January 22, 2019

An international research team led by the University of Liverpool and McMaster University has made a significant breakthrough in the search for new states of matter.

Researchers capture an image of negative capacitance in action

January 21, 2019

For the first time ever, an international team of researchers imaged the microscopic state of negative capacitance. This novel result provides researchers with fundamental, atomistic insight into the physics of negative capacitance, ...

Toward ultrafast spintronics

January 21, 2019

Electronics have advanced through continuous improvements in microprocessor technology since the 1960s. However, this process of refinement is projected to stall in the near future due to constraints imposed by the laws of ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.