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Physics  2014 

Sterile neutrino oscillations in core-collapse supernovae

DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevD.90.103007

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Abstract:

We have made core-collapse supernova simulations that allow oscillations between electron neutrinos (or their anti particles) with right-handed sterile neutrinos. We have considered a range of mixing angles and sterile neutrino masses including those consistent with sterile neutrinos as a dark matter candidate. We examine whether such oscillations can impact the core bounce and shock reheating in supernovae. We identify the optimum ranges of mixing angles and masses that can dramatically enhance the supernova explosion by efficiently transporting electron anti-neutrinos from the core to behind the shock where they provide additional heating leading to much larger explosion kinetic energies. We show that this effect can cause stars to explode that otherwise would have collapsed. We find that an interesting periodicity in the neutrino luminosity develops due to a cycle of depletion of the neutrino density by conversion to sterile neutrinos that shuts off the conversion, followed by a replenished neutrino density as neutrinos transport through the core.

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