Light sterile neutrinos and short baseline neutrino oscillation anomalies

Jiji Fan, Paul Langacker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


We study two possible explanations for short baseline neutrino oscillation anomalies, such as the LSND and MiniBooNE anti-neutrino data, and for the reactor anomaly. The first scenario is the mini-seesaw mechanism with two eV-scale sterile neutri- nos. We present both analytic formulas and numerical results showing that this scenario could account for the short baseline and reactor anomalies and is consistent with the ob- served masses and mixings of the three active neutrinos. We also show that this scenario could arise naturally from an effective theory containing a TeV-scale VEV, which could be related to other TeV-scale physics. The minimal version of the mini-seesaw relates the active-sterile mixings to five real parameters and favors an inverted hierarchy. It has the interesting property that the effective Majorana mass for neutrinoless double beta decay vanishes, while the effective masses relevant to tritium beta decay and to cosmology are respectively around 0.2 and 2.4 eV. The second scenario contains only one eV-scale sterile neutrino but with an effective non-unitary mixing matrix between the light sterile and active neutrinos. We find that though this may explain the anomalies, if the non-unitarity originates from a heavy sterile neutrino with a large (fine-tuned) mixing angle, this scenario is highly constrained by cosmological and laboratory observations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number083
JournalJournal of High Energy Physics
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics


  • Beyond Standard Model
  • Neutrino Physics


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