Friday, October 7, 2011

Another Neutrino Day

A friend here listens to a few talk shows on the radio, and she told me that some Kiwi physicist was explaining yesterday, predictably, why the OPERA result is probably wrong. Well, it could be wrong, but New Zealand is a small country, and it's pretty unlikely that anybody here really knows anything about the OPERA experiment, even if they are already being cited on hep-ph papers about faster than light neutrinos, never having discussed them before. Perhaps one of our many sociologist observers could count the (statistically significant?) fraction of new hep-ph papers that (1) cite people who were working on weird neutrino physics before the OPERA result and (2) are written by authors who have previously worked in neutrino physics at all (otherwise becoming experts in a week, geniuses that they all are).

Anyway, of the few paragraphs that I glimpsed in these papers, few seem familiar with the basic difference between electroweak and mass states for neutrinos. Neutrino oscillations are now a well established phenomenon, probed by many experiments. They suggest that one cannot expect neutrinos to behave like charged leptons, or other particles, that do not oscillate. And we don't tend to see free quarks (although, who knows, perhaps the LHC experimentalists have).

1 comment:

  1. Let me be clear, some of the new arxiv shenanigans is truly scientifically unethical. But that doesn't surprise anyone any more, does it? After all, you get jobs by publishing many papers. Who cares about the content?


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