Theorists discover the “Rosetta Stone” for neutrino physics

Categories: Intensity Frontier
Published on: October 9, 2019
From left: Xining Zhang of the University of Chicago, Peter Denton of Brookhaven National Laboratory and Stephen Parke of Fermilab have discovered a new mathematical identity that had eluded mathematicians for centuries. Photo: Reidar Hahn

The physics usage case of this result stems from our investigations of neutrino oscillation probabilities in matter, which involve finding eigenvectors and eigenvalues, both of which are rather complicated expressions. While the eigenvalues are somewhat unavoidably tricky, this new result shows that the eigenvectors can be written down in a simple, compact, and easy-to-remember form, once the eigenvalues are calculated. For this reason, we called the eigenvalues “the Rosetta Stone” for neutrino oscillations in our original publication — once you have them, you know everything you want to know.

By Stephen Parke. You can read this article at the Fermilab web site.

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