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Saturday, July 20, 2013

Muon Neutrinos Transform to Electron Neutrinos

Super Kamiokande is the worldʼs largest underground neutrino detector,
and is located 1000 metres underground in Kamioka Mine, Hida, Gifu Precture, Japan.

Credit: Image courtesy of Stony Brook University

Yesterday at the European Physical Society meeting in Stockholm, the international T2K collaboration announced definitive observation of muon neutrino to electron neutrino transformation. In 2011, the collaboration announced the first indication of this process, a new type of neutrino oscillation, then; now with 3.5 times more data this transformation is firmly established. The probability that random statistical fluctuations alone would produce the observed excess of electron neutrinos is less than one in a trillion. Equivalently the new results exclude such possibility at 7.5 sigma level of significance. This T2K observation is the first of its kind in that an explicit appearance of a unique flavor of neutrino at a detection point is unequivocally observed from a different flavor of neutrino at its production point.
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