Fast oscillations, collisionless relaxation, and spurious evolution of supernova neutrino flavor

Lucas Johns, Hiroki Nagakura, George M. Fuller, Adam Burrows

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Mounting evidence indicates that neutrinos likely undergo fast flavor conversion (FFC) in at least some core-collapse supernovae. Outcomes of FFC, however, remain highly uncertain. Here we study the cascade of flavor-field power from large angular scales in momentum space down to small ones, showing that FFC enhances this process and thereby hastens relaxation. Cascade also poses a computational challenge, which is present even if the flavor field is stable: When power reaches the smallest angular scale of the calculation, error from truncating the angular-moment expansion propagates back to larger scales, to disastrous effect on the overall evolution. Essentially the same issue has prompted extensive work in the context of plasma kinetics. This link suggests new approaches to averting spurious evolution, a problem that presently puts severe limitations on the feasibility of realistic oscillation calculations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number103017
JournalPhysical Review D
Volume102
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 16 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)

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