In models involving new TeV-scale Z′ gauge bosons, the new U(1)′ symmetry often prevents the generation of Majorana masses needed for a conventional neutrino seesaw mechanism, leading to three superweakly interacting "right-handed" neutrinos vŔ, the Dirac partners of the ordinary neutrinos. These can be produced prior to big bang nucleosynthesis by the Z′ interactions, leading to a faster expansion rate and too much 4He. We quantify the constraints on the Z′ properties from nucleosynthesis for Z′ couplings motivated by a class of E6 models parametrized by an angle θE6. The rate for the annihilation of three approximately massless right-handed neutrinos into other particle pairs through the Z′ channel is calculated. The decoupling temperature, which is higher than that of ordinary left-handed neutrinos due to the large Z′ mass, is evaluated, and the equivalent number of new doublet neutrinos ΔNν is obtained numerically as a function of the Z′ mass and couplings for a variety of assumptions concerning the Z-Z′ mixing angle and the quark-hadron transition temperature T c. Except near the values of θE6 for which the Z′ decouples from the right-handed neutrinos, the Z′ mass and mixing constraints from nucleosynthesis are much more stringent than the existing laboratory limits from searches for direct production or from precision electroweak data, and are comparable to the ranges that may ultimately be probed at proposed colliders. For the case Tc= 150 MeV with the theoretically favored range of Z-Z′ mixings, ΔNν≲0.3 for MZ′≳4.3 TeV for any value of θE6. Larger mixing or larger Tc often lead to unacceptably large ΔN ν except near the νR decoupling limit.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Nuclear and High Energy Physics
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)