Title

Neutrino Helicity Reversal and Fundamental Symmetries

Abstract

A rather elusive helicity reversal occurs in a gedanken experiment in which a massive left-handed Dirac neutrino, traveling at a velocity u < c, is overtaken on a highway by a speeding vehicle (traveling at velocity v with u < v < c). Namely, after passing the neutrino, looking back, one would see a right-handed neutrino (which has never been observed in nature). The Lorentz-invariant mass of the right-handed neutrino is still the same as before the passing. The gedanken experiment thus implies the existence of right-handed, light neutrinos, which are not completely sterile. Furthermore, overtaking a bunch of massive right-handed Dirac neutrinos leads to gradual de-sterilization. We discuss the helicity reversal and the concomitant sterilization and de-sterilization mechanisms by way of an illustrative example calculation, with a special emphasis on massive Dirac and Majorana neutrinos. We contrast the formalism with a modified Dirac neutrino described by a Dirac equation with a pseudoscalar mass term proportional to the fifth current.

Department(s)

Physics

Keywords and Phrases

Fundamental Symmetries; Helicity Reversal; Majorana Neutrino; Neutrino Physics; Spinor Lorentz Transformation

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

0954-3899

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version

Citation

File Type

text

Language(s)

English

Rights

© 2014 IOP Publishing, All rights reserved.

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