A short intro to the TNH

Here’s a link to an old web page which credibly addresses the tachyonic neutrino hypothesis:


It goes back a way (1992), but gives the gist of some of the real (i.e., experimental) physics issues involved in dealing with neutrinos.  Cramer has written other columns e.g., on whether there is a consistent theory of tachyons. Don’t agree with everything he writes. E.g., he thinks the neutrino is “probably not” a tachyon, but how do you come up with such a probability other than from experiment? Tritium beta decay experiments from the 90’s were at least 96.5% in the negative mass squared regime, and later experiments were appearing to boost this number even closer to 100% when people stopped calculating it. Also, he didn’t mention the Mont Blanc neutrinos (flavour not known) that were received 4.7 hours earlier than the Kamiokande II and IMB neutrinos pulses (the Kamiokande burst consisted entirely of electron neutrinos). The Mont Blanc signal has been labelled a “highly improbable spurious burst”, but the only reason given for this is that its existence doesn’t fit the most plausible model of supernova core collapse. If the Mont Blanc signal consisted of tachyonic muon neutrinos, then they could have beaten the electron neutrinos & a back-of-the-envelope calc. shows the tachyonic mass parameter to be around 1 keV, which is well within experimental bounds of m^2 measurements given by other experiments. Also, this would be independent of the supernova model since it involves a different assumption about the dynamics of the neutrino. OK, there’s a lot more to it than that, since one needs a valid quantum field theory (QFT) of tachyons, but that’s what I’ve been cogitating on since 1998 & I think there is one which is so far working. At least from what I’ve seen, I’m pretty doubtful that a direct, rigorous proof of nonexistence of every kind of tachyonic QFT will ever be found.

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Introductory Post

Hi everyone–

I am a mathematical physicist, with a Ph.D. in Applied and Computational Mathematics from Princeton University, and am interested in starting a blog to promote consideration of the tachyonic neutrino hypothesis (TNH), originally suggested in an article by Chodos, Hauser and Kostelecky (Phys.Lett.B150:431,1985). I have already posted 3 articles related to this topic on the arXiv.org website, namely http://arxiv.org/abs/0801.1957, http://arxiv.org/abs/0804.4534, and http://arxiv.org/abs/1007.5418. At present, I am working on the aspects of the theory involving renormalization of the underlying quantum field theory (QFT) and unitarity of the S-matrix resulting from this QFT. In this blog, I hope to clarify (largely to an academic audience) roughly why I consider the TNH to be a topic worth considering as a topic in Mathematics/Physics, and, generally, what others have contributed to the topic, both for and against (along with my responses to these contributions). Down the road, I’d like to develop a web page compiling experimental results that either point towards or away from the veracity of the TNH (and by how much, i.e., best experimental bounds of parameters appearing in the tachyonic QFT described in my papers above would be listed), but for a very brief start (and to indicate the possible relevance of the TNH in current experimental particle physics), I refer to the 2007 results of MINOS concerning a direct time-of-flight measurement of the speed of the neutrino: http://arxiv.org/abs/0706.0437, which finds it to be 1.75 sigma in excess of the speed of light.

Marek J Radzikowski

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