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Physics  2000 

Neutrino Proper Time?

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An electron neutrino can have the quantum phase of an electron, i.e. share its internal clock, if the neutrino takes a path in space-time that is not in the direction of its energy-momentum. Each flavor neutrino would then have a different internal clock; a muon neutrino would have a muon clock and a tau neutrino would have a tau clock. Perhaps surprisingly, there is some evidence suggesting neutrinos have such clocks. If muon neutrinos travel on space-like paths then some atmospheric muon neutrinos would take such paths backwards into outer space and not be observed. These are lost at the source and have nothing to do with oscillations or flavor-changing in flight. The expected depletion of source muon neutrinos is shown here to be 9%, which accounts for half of the missing muon neutrino source flux reported by Super-Kamiokande. Since there is no depletion in the electron neutrino flux source reported at SK and SN1987A electron neutrinos seem to have traveled at the speed of light, the electron neutrino travels on a light-like path. Accelerator-based experiments could be arranged to confirm the reverse motion of muon neutrinos.


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