Probing the neutrino mass hierarchy and the 13-mixing with supernovae

Cecilia Lunardini, Alexei Yu Smirnov

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

93 Scopus citations


We consider in detail the effects of the 13-mixing (sin2 θ13) and of the type of mass hierarchy/ordering (sign[Δm132]) on neutrino signals from the gravitational collapses of stars. The observables (characteristics of the energy spectra of ve and v̄e events) sensitive to sin 2 θ13 and sign[Δ132] have been calculated. They include the ratio of average energies of the spectra, r E ≡ 〈E〉 /〈Ē〉, the ratio of widths of the energy distributions, rΓ ≡ Γ/Γ̄, the ratios of total numbers of ve and v̄e events at low energies, S, and in the high energy tails, Rtail. We construct and analyse scatter plots which show the predictions for the observables for different intervals of sin2 θ13 and signs of Δm132, taking into account uncertainties in the original neutrino spectra, the star density profile, etc. Regions in the space of observables rE, rΓ, S, Rtail exist in which certain mass hierarchy and intervals of sin2 θ13 can be identified or discriminated. We elaborate on the method of the high energy tails in the spectra of events. The conditions are formulated for which sin2 θ13 can be (i) measured, (ii) restricted from below, (iii) restricted from above. We comment on the possibility to determine sin2 θ13 using the time dependence of the signals due to the propagation of the shock wave through the resonance layers of the star. We show that the appearance of the delayed Earth matter effect in one of the channels (ve or v̄e) in combination with the undelayed effect in the other channel will allow us to identify the shock wave appeareance and determine the mass hierarchy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)121-168
Number of pages48
JournalJournal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • Neutrino properties
  • Supernova neutrinos

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Astronomy and Astrophysics


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