Eur. Phys. J. C 19, 553-560
Neutrino oscillations in non-inertial frames and the violation of the equivalence principle
Neutrino mixing induced by the equivalence principle violationG. Lambiase1, 2
1 Dipartimento di Scienze Fisiche "E. R. Caianiello", Università di Salerno, 84081 Baronissi (SA) Italy
2 Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare, Sezione di Napoli, Italy
(Received: 14 December 2000 / Published online: 15 March 2001 -© Springer-Verlag 2001)
Neutrino oscillations are analyzed in an accelerating and rotating reference frame, assuming that the gravitational coupling of neutrinos is flavor dependent, which implies a violation of the equivalence principle. Unlike the usual studies in which a constant gravitational field is considered, such frames could represent a more suitable framework for testing if a breakdown of the equivalence principle occurs, due to the possibility to modulate the (simulated) gravitational field. The violation of the equivalence principle implies, for the case of a maximal gravitational mixing angle, the presence of an off-diagonal term in the mass matrix. The consequences on the evolution of flavor (mass) eigenstates of such a term are analyzed for solar (oscillations in the vacuum) and atmospheric neutrinos. We calculate the flavor oscillation probability in the non-inertial frame, which does depend on its angular velocity and linear acceleration, as well as on the energy of neutrinos, the mass-squared difference between two mass eigenstates, and on the measure of the degree of violation of the equivalence principle ( ). In particular, we find that the energy dependence disappears for vanishing mass-squared difference, unlike the result obtained by Gasperini, Halprin, Leung, and other physical mechanisms proposed as a viable explanation of neutrino oscillations. Estimations on the upper values of are inferred for a rotating observer (with vanishing linear acceleration) comoving with the earth, hence rad/sec, and all other alternative mechanisms generating the oscillation phenomena have been neglected. In this case we find that the constraints on are given by for solar neutrinos and for atmospheric neutrinos.
© Società Italiana di Fisica, Springer-Verlag 2001