Friday, December 8, 2017, 3pm
Location: Planetary Hall Room 126

Robert Ehrlich
Department of Physics & Astronomy
George Mason University

The Mont Blanc neutrino burst from SN 1987A: Were they m^2 = - 0.38 keV^2 tachyons or just a great imitation?


According to conventional wisdom the 5-hour early Mont Blanc burst probably was not associated with SN 1987A, but if it was genuine, some exotic physics explanation had to be responsible, such as a double ``bang" of the collapsing core. Here we consider one truly exotic explanation, namely faster-than-light tachyonic neutrinos having m^2=-0.38 keV^2. It is shown that the Mont Blanc burst may be consistent with the distinctive signature of that explanation i.e., an 8 MeV antineutrino line from SN 1987A, and that a model of core collapse supernovae involving dark matter particles of mass 8 MeV would in fact yield just such an 8 MeV neutrino line. Moreover, the dark matter model fits the observed spectrum of MeV gamma rays from the galactic center, a place where one would expect large amounts of dark matter to collect. Lastly, it is noted that the tachyonic interpretation of the Mont Blanc burst fits the author's unconventional 3+3 model of the neutrino mass states, and that results from the KATRIN experiment should prove or reject that model in a short data-taking period.