Regular Article - Theoretical Physics
The flavor composition of astrophysical neutrinos after 8 years of IceCube: an indication of neutron decay scenario?
DESY, Platanenallee 6, 15738, Zeuthen, Germany
* e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Accepted: 31 May 2019
Published online: 13 June 2019
In this work we present an updated study of the flavor composition suggested by astrophysical neutrinos observed by IceCube. The main novelties compared to previous studies are the following: (1) we use the most recent measurements, namely 8 years of throughgoing muons and 7.5 years of High Energy Starting Events (HESE); (2) we consider a broken power law spectrum, in order to be consistent with the observations between 30 TeV and few PeV; (3) we use the throughgoing muon flux to predict the number of astrophysical HESE tracks. We show that accounting for the three previous elements, the result favors surprisingly the hypothesis of neutrinos produced by neutron decay, disfavoring the standard picture of neutrinos from pion decay at 2.0 and the damped muons regime at , once the atmospheric background is considered. Although the conventional scenario is not yet completely ruled out in the statistically and alternative interpretations are also plausible, such as an energy spectrum characterized by a non trivial shape, this intriguing result may suggest new directions for both theoretical interpretation and experimental search strategies.
© The Author(s), 2019