Neutrino Cosmology

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Firstly, the different current available tools to measure the neutrino mass ordering are described. Namely, reactor, long-baseline accelerator and atmospheric neutrino beams, laboratory searches for beta and neutrinoless double beta decays and observations of the cosmic background radiation and the large scale structure of the universe are carefully reviewed.

Secondly, the results from an up-to-date comprehensive global fit are reported: the Bayesian analysis to the publicly available oscillation and cosmological data sets provides strong evidence for the normal neutrino mass ordering vs. This preference for the normal neutrino mass ordering is mostly due to neutrino oscillation measurements. Finally, we shall also emphasize the future perspectives for unveiling the neutrinomass ordering.

In this regard, apart from describing the expectations from the aforementioned probes, we also focus on those arising from alternative and novel methods, as 21 cm cosmology, core-collapse supernova neutrinos and the direct detection of relic neutrinos. These discoveries robustly established that neutrinos are massive particles. However, neutrinos are massless particles in the Standard Model SM of particle physics: in the absence of any direct indication for their mass available at the time, they were introduced as fermions for which no gauge invariant renormalizable mass term can be constructed.

As a consequence, in the SM there is neither mixing nor CP violation in the lepton sector. Therefore, neutrino oscillations and masses imply the first known departure from the SM of particle physics. Despite the good precision that neutrino experiments have reached in the recent years, still many neutrino properties remain unknown. Among them, the neutrino character, Dirac vs. Majorana, the existence of CP violation in the leptonic sector, the absolute scale of neutrino masses, and the type of the neutrino mass spectrum. Future laboratory, accelerator and reactor, astrophysical and cosmological probes will address all these open questions, that may further reinforce the evidence for physics beyond the SM.

The main focus of this review is, however, the last of the aforementioned unknowns. We will discuss what we know and how we could improve our current knowledge of the neutrino mass ordering. The situation for the mass ordering has changed a lot in the last few months. The analyses dealing with global oscillation neutrino data have only shown a mild preference for the normal ordering.

Weigh them all! : Cosmological searches for the neutrino mass scale and mass ordering

Namely, the authors of Capozzi et al. Very similar results were reported in the first version of de Salas et al. The most recent global fit to neutrino oscillation data, however, reported a strengthened preference for normal ordering that is mainly due to the new data from the Super-Kamiokande Abe et al. The inclusion of these new data in both the analyses of Capozzi et al.

In this review we will comment these new results see section 2 and use them to perform an updated global analysis, following the method of Gariazzo et al.

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The two possible hierarchical 6 neutrino mass scenarios are shown in Figure 1 , inspired by Mena and Parke , which provides a graphical representation of the neutrino flavor content of each of the neutrino mass eigenstates given the current preferred values of the oscillation parameters de Salas et al. Figure 1.

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Inspired by Mena and Parke Table 1. Neutrino oscillation parameters summary determined from the global analysis. Figure 2.

Mysterious Neutrinos Get New Mass Estimate

The state-of-knowledge of cosmological observations Ade et al. Using the known neutrino oscillation parameters and the standard cosmological evolution, it is possible to compute the thermalization and the decoupling of neutrinos in the early universe see e.

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While neutrinos decoupled as ultra-relativistic particles, currently at least two out of the three neutrino mass eigenstates are non-relativistic. Neutrinos constitute the first and only known form of dark matter so far.

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  7. Indeed, neutrinos behave as hot dark matter particles, possessing large thermal velocities, clustering only at scales below their free streaming scale, modifying the evolution of matter overdensities and suppressing structure formation at small scales. The CMB is also affected by the presence of massive neutrinos, as these particles may turn non-relativistic around the decoupling period.

    In this regard, CMB lensing is also helpful and improves the CMB temperature and polarization constraints, as the presence of massive neutrinos modify the matter distribution along the line of sight through their free streaming nature, reducing clustering and, consequently, CMB lensing.

    Neutrino properties and the nature of neutrinos.

    If the massive neutrino spectrum does not lie in the degenerate region, the three distinct neutrino masses affect the cosmological observables in a different way. For instance, the transition to the non-relativistic period takes place at different cosmic times, and the associated free-streaming scale is different for each of the neutrino mass eigenstates. However, the effect on the power spectrum is very small permille level and therefore an extraction of the neutrino mass hierarchy via singling out each of the massive neutrino states seems a very futuristic challenge.

    This will be possibly attainable only via huge effective volume surveys, as those tracing the 21 cm spin-flip transition in neutral hydrogen, see sections 6. A word of caution is needed here when dealing with Bayesian analyses, usually performed when dealing with cosmological data: a detection of the neutrino mass ordering could be driven by volume effects in the marginalization, and therefore the prior choice can make a huge difference, if data are not powerful enough Schwetz et al. This process is a spontaneous nuclear transition in which the charge of two isobaric nuclei would change by two units with the simultaneous emission of two electrons and without the emission of neutrinos.

    This process is only possible if the neutrino is a Majorana particle and an experimental signal of the existence of this process would constitute evidence of the putative Majorana neutrino character. Figure 3 illustrates the Bayesian This figure is in perfect agreement with the results shown in Figure 1 of Agostini et al. Figure 3. The horizontal bands indicate the most conservative version obtained by each collaboration when assuming a disfavorable value for the nuclear matrix element of the process of some of the most competitive upper bounds, as those reported by KamLAND-Zen Gando et al.

    The vertical band in the Right indicates the strongest limit reported by Planck Aghanim et al. Since neutrino oscillation measurements, cosmological observations and neutrinoless double beta decay experiments are cornering the inverted mass ordering region, it makes sense to combine their present results. Indeed, plenty of works have been recently devoted to test whether a preference for one mass ordering over the other exists, given current oscillation, neutrinoless double beta decay and cosmological data.

    A number of studies on the subject Hannestad and Schwetz, ; Caldwell et al. Bayesian approach.

    In the latter case, however, the results may be subject-dependent, as a consequence of different possible choices of priors and parameterizations when describing the theoretical model, for example in the case of sampling over the three individual neutrino mass states. Therefore, one must be careful when playing with different priors, as recently shown in Gariazzo et al. The current status of the preference of normal vs. Furthermore, as it will be carefully detailed in section 5, the Bayesian global fit to the publicly available oscillation and cosmological data points to a strong preference 3.

    To summarize and conclude this introductory part, we resume that the current available methods to determine the neutrino mass ordering can be grouped as:. We shall exploit the complementarity of both cosmology and particle physics approaches, profiting from the highly multidisciplinary character of the topic. Future perspectives are described throughout section 6 and its subsections, while the final remarks will be outlined in section 7. Our current knowledge on the neutrino mass ordering comes mainly from the analysis of the available neutrino oscillation data.

    The sensitivity to the neutrino mass spectrum at oscillation experiments is mostly due to the presence of matter effects in the neutrino propagation. Therefore, one can expect that this sensitivity will increase with the size of matter effects, being larger for atmospheric neutrino experiments, where a fraction of neutrinos travel through the Earth. For long-baseline accelerator experiments, matter effects will increase with the baseline, while these effects will be negligible at short-baseline and medium-baseline experiments.

    When neutrinos travel through the Earth, the effective matter potential due to the electron anti neutrino charged-current elastic scatterings with the electrons in the medium will modify the three-flavor mixing processes. The effect will strongly depend on the neutrino mass ordering: in the normal inverted mass ordering scenario, the neutrino flavor transition probabilities will get enhanced suppressed.

    In the case of antineutrino propagation, instead, the flavor transition probabilities will get suppressed enhanced in the normal inverted mass ordering scenario. Exploiting the different matter effects for neutrinos and antineutrinos provides therefore the ideal tool to unravel the mass ordering.

    Matter effects are expected to be particularly relevant when the following resonance condition is satisfied:. The precise location of the resonance will depend on both the neutrino path and the neutrino energy. There, we can see that reconstructing the oscillation pattern at different distances and energies allows to determine the neutrino mass ordering see also section 6. Figure 4. Until very recently, oscillation experiments were not showing a particular preference for any of the mass orderings, not even when combined in a global analysis see for instance Forero et al.

    Lately, however, the most recent data releases from some of the experiments have become more sensitive to the ordering of the neutrino mass spectrum. Relaxing the prior on the reactor angle results in a milder preference for normal over inverted mass ordering. The latest atmospheric neutrino results from Super-Kamiokande also show some sensitivity to the neutrino mass ordering. The full sensitivity to the ordering of the neutrino mass spectrum from oscillations is obtained after combining the data samples described above with all the available experimental results in a global fit de Salas et al.