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Measuring anisotropies in the cosmic neutrino background

Author(s): Lisanti, Mariangela; Safdi, Benjamin R; Tully, Christopher G

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Abstract: Neutrino capture on tritium has emerged as a promising method for detecting the cosmic neutrino background (C nu B). We show that relic neutrinos are captured most readily when their spin vectors are antialigned with the polarization axis of the tritium nuclei and when they approach along the direction of polarization. As a result, C nu B observatories may measure anisotropies in the cosmic neutrino velocity and spin distributions by polarizing the tritium targets. A small dipole anisotropy in the C nu B is expected due to the peculiar velocity of the lab frame with respect to the cosmic frame and due to late-time gravitational effects. The PTOLEMY experiment, a tritium observatory currently under construction, should observe a nearly isotropic background. This would serve as a strong test of the cosmological origin of a potential signal. The polarized-target measurements may also constrain nonstandard neutrino interactions that would induce larger anisotropies and help discriminate between Majorana versus Dirac neutrinos.
Publication Date: 1-Oct-2014
Electronic Publication Date: 22-Oct-2014
Citation: Lisanti, Mariangela, Safdi, Benjamin R, Tully, Christopher G. (2014). Measuring anisotropies in the cosmic neutrino background. PHYSICAL REVIEW D, 90 (10.1103/PhysRevD.90.073006
DOI: doi:10.1103/PhysRevD.90.073006
ISSN: 2470-0010
EISSN: 2470-0029
Type of Material: Journal Article
Journal/Proceeding Title: PHYSICAL REVIEW D
Version: Final published version. This is an open access article.

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