Neutrino oscillations: Quantum mechanics vs. quantum field theory

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A consistent description of neutrino oscillations requires either the quantum-mechanical (QM) wave packet approach or a quantum field theoretic (QFT) treatment. We compare these two approaches to neutrino oscillations and discuss the correspondence between them. In particular, we derive expressions for the QM neutrino wave packets from QFT and relate the free parameters of the QM framework, in particular the effective momentum uncertainty of the neutrino state, to the more fundamental parameters of the QFT approach. We include in our discussion the possibilities that some of the neutrino's interaction partners are not detected, that the neutrino is produced in the ... continued below

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42 pages

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Akhmedov, Evgeny Kh. & Kopp, Joachim January 1, 2010.

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A consistent description of neutrino oscillations requires either the quantum-mechanical (QM) wave packet approach or a quantum field theoretic (QFT) treatment. We compare these two approaches to neutrino oscillations and discuss the correspondence between them. In particular, we derive expressions for the QM neutrino wave packets from QFT and relate the free parameters of the QM framework, in particular the effective momentum uncertainty of the neutrino state, to the more fundamental parameters of the QFT approach. We include in our discussion the possibilities that some of the neutrino's interaction partners are not detected, that the neutrino is produced in the decay of an unstable parent particle, and that the overlap of the wave packets of the particles involved in the neutrino production (or detection) process is not maximal. Finally, we demonstrate how the properly normalized oscillation probabilities can be obtained in the QFT framework without an ad hoc normalization procedure employed in the QM approach.

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42 pages

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  • Report No.: FERMILAB-PUB-10-014-T
  • Grant Number: AC02-07CH11359
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 971690
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc928600

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

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  • January 1, 2010

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Nov. 13, 2016, 7:26 p.m.

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  • Nov. 30, 2016, 12:39 p.m.

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Akhmedov, Evgeny Kh. & Kopp, Joachim. Neutrino oscillations: Quantum mechanics vs. quantum field theory, article, January 1, 2010; Batavia, Illinois. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc928600/: accessed November 17, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.