Global constraints on absolute neutrino masses and their ordering [CL]

Within the standard three-neutrino framework, the absolute neutrino masses and their ordering (either normal, NO, or inverted, IO) are currently unknown. However, the combination of current data coming from oscillation experiments, neutrinoless double beta decay searches, and cosmological surveys, can provide interesting constraints for such unknowns in the sub-eV mass range, down to O(0.1) eV in some cases. We discuss current limits on absolute neutrino mass observables by performing a global data analysis, that includes the latest results from oscillation experiments, neutrinoless double beta decay bounds from the KamLAND-Zen experiment, and constraints from representative combinations of Planck measurements and other cosmological data sets. In general, NO appears to be somewhat favored with respect to IO at the level of ~2 sigma, mainly by neutrino oscillation data (especially atmospheric), corroborated by cosmological data in some cases. Detailed constraints are obtained via the chi^2 method, by expanding the parameter space either around separate minima in NO and IO, or around the absolute minimum in any ordering. Implications for upcoming oscillation and non-oscillation neutrino experiments, including beta-decay searches, are also discussed.

Read this paper on arXiv…

F. Capozzi, E. Valentino, E. Lisi, et. al.
Tue, 14 Mar 17

Comments: 17 pages, including 3 tables and 11 figures

Cross section measurement of the astrophysically important 17O(p,gamma)18F reaction in a wide energy range [CL]

The 17O(p,g)18F reaction plays an important role in hydrogen burning processes in different stages of stellar evolution. The rate of this reaction must therefore be known with high accuracy in order to provide the necessary input for astrophysical models.
The cross section of 17O(p,g)18F is characterized by a complicated resonance structure at low energies. Experimental data, however, is scarce in a wide energy range which increases the uncertainty of the low energy extrapolations. The purpose of the present work is therefore to provide consistent and precise cross section values in a wide energy range.
The cross section is measured using the activation method which provides directly the total cross section. With this technique some typical systematic uncertainties encountered in in-beam gamma-spectroscopy experiments can be avoided.
The cross section was measured between 500 keV and 1.8 MeV proton energies with a total uncertainty of typically 10%. The results are compared with earlier measurements and it is found that the gross features of the 17O(p,g)18F excitation function is relatively well reproduced by the present data. Deviation of roughly a factor of 1.5 is found in the case of the total cross section when compared with the only one high energy dataset. At the lowest measured energy our result is in agreement with two recent datasets within one standard deviation and deviates by roughly two standard deviations from a third one. An R-matrix analysis of the present and previous data strengthen the reliability of the extrapolated zero energy astrophysical S-factor.
Using an independent experimental technique, the literature cross section data of 17O(p,g)18F is confirmed in the energy region of the resonances while lower direct capture cross section is recommended at higher energies. The present dataset provides a constraint for the theoretical cross sections.

Read this paper on arXiv…

G. Gyurky, A. Ornelas, Z. Fulop, et. al.
Fri, 10 Mar 17

Comments: Accepted for publication in Phys. Rev. C. Abstract shortened in order to comply with arxiv rules

Quantum Nuclear Pasta and Nuclear Symmetry Energy [CL]

Complex and exotic nuclear geometries are expected to appear naturally in dense nuclear matter found in the crust of neutron stars and supernovae environment collectively referred to as nuclear pasta. The pasta geometries depend on the average baryon density, proton fraction and temperature and are critically important in the determination of many transport properties of matter in supernovae and the crust of neutron stars. Using a set of self-consistent microscopic nuclear energy density functionals we present the first results of large scale quantum simulations of pasta phases at baryon densities $0.03 \leq \rho \leq 0.10$ fm$^{-3}$, proton fractions $0.05 \leq Y_p \leq 0.40$, and zero temperature. The full quantum simulations, in particular, allow us to thoroughly investigate the role and impact of the nuclear symmetry energy on pasta configurations. We use the Sky3D code that solves the Skyrme Hartree-Fock equations on a three-dimensional Cartesian grid. For the nuclear interaction we use the state of the art UNEDF1 parametrization, which was introduced to study largely deformed nuclei, hence is suitable for studies of the nuclear pasta. Density dependence of the nuclear symmetry energy is simulated by tuning two purely isovector observables that are insensitive to the current available experimental data. We find that a minimum total number of nucleons $A=2000$ is necessary to prevent the results from containing spurious shell effects and to minimize finite size effects. We find that a variety of nuclear pasta geometries are present in the neutron star crust and the result strongly depends on the nuclear symmetry energy. The impact of the nuclear symmetry energy is less pronounced as the proton fractions increase. Quantum nuclear pasta calculations at $T=0$ MeV are shown to get easily trapped in meta-stable states, and possible remedies to avoid meta-stable solutions are discussed.

Read this paper on arXiv…

F. Fattoyev, C. Horowitz and B. Schuetrumpf
Tue, 7 Mar 17

Comments: 23 pages, 18 figures, 8 tables

Short-baseline electron antineutrino disappearance study by using neutrino sources from $^{13}$C + $^{9}$Be reaction [CL]

To investigate the existence of sterile neutrino, we propose a new neutrino production method using $^{13}$C beams and a $^{9}$Be target for short-baseline electron antineutrino (${\bar{\nu}}_{e}$) disappearance study. The production of secondary unstable isotopes which can emit neutrinos from the $^{13}$C + $^{9}$Be reaction is calculated with three different nucleus-nucleus (AA) reaction models. Different isotope yields are obtained using these models, but the results of the neutrino flux are found to have unanimous similarities. This feature gives an opportunity to study neutrino oscillation through shape analysis. In this work, expected neutrino flux and event rates are discussed in detail through intensive simulation of the light ion collision reaction and the neutrino flux from the beta decay of unstable isotopes followed by this collision. Together with the reactor and accelerator anomalies, the present proposed ${\bar{\nu}}_{e}$ source is shown to be a practically alternative test of the existence of the $\Delta m^{2}$ $\sim$ 1 eV$^{2}$ scale sterile neutrino.

Read this paper on arXiv…

J. Shin, M. Cheoun, T. Kajino, et. al.
Tue, 28 Feb 17

Comments: N/A

Ab initio calculations of the isotopic dependence of nuclear clustering [CL]

Nuclear clustering describes the appearance of structures resembling smaller nuclei such as alpha particles (4He nuclei) within the interior of a larger nucleus. While clustering is important for several well-known examples, little is known about the general nature of clustering in nuclei. In this letter we present lattice Monte Carlo calculations based on chiral effective field theory for the ground states of helium, beryllium, carbon, and oxygen isotopes. By computing model-independent measures that probe three- and four-nucleon correlations at short distances, we determine the effective number of alpha clusters in any nucleus as well as their shape compared to alpha particles in vacuum. We also introduce a new computational approach called the pinhole algorithm, which solves a long-standing deficiency of auxiliary-field Monte Carlo simulations in computing density correlations relative to the center of mass. We use the pinhole algorithm to determine the proton and neutron density distributions and the geometry of cluster correlations in 12C, 14C, and 16C. The structural similarities among the carbon isotopes suggest that 14C and 16C have excitations analogous to the well-known Hoyle state resonance in 12C.

Read this paper on arXiv…

S. Elhatisari, E. Epelbaum, H. Krebs, et. al.
Mon, 20 Feb 17

Comments: 5 + 9 pages (main + supplemental materials), 4 + 6 figures (main + supplemental materials)

Measurement of the stellar $^{58}$Ni$(n,γ)^{59}$Ni cross section with AMS [SSA]

The $^{58}$Ni$(n,\gamma)^{59}$Ni cross section was measured with a combination of the activation technique and accelerator mass spectrometry (AMS). The neutron activations were performed at the Karlsruhe 3.7 MV Van de Graaff accelerator using the quasi-stellar neutron spectrum at $kT=25$ keV produced by the $^7$Li($p,n$)$^7$Be reaction. The subsequent AMS measurements were carried out at the 14 MV tandem accelerator of the Maier-Leibnitz-Laboratory in Garching using the Gas-filled Analyzing Magnet System (GAMS). Three individual samples were measured, yielding a Maxwellian-averaged cross section at $kT=30$ keV of $\langle\sigma\rangle_{30\text{keV}}$= 30.4 (23)$^{syst}$(9)$^{stat}$ mbarn. This value is slightly lower than two recently published measurements using the time-of-flight (TOF) method, but agrees within the uncertainties. Our new results also resolve the large discrepancy between older TOF measurements and our previous value.

Read this paper on arXiv…

P. Ludwig, G. Rugel, I. Dillmann, et. al.
Tue, 14 Feb 17

Comments: 13 pages, 4 figures; accepted for publication in Phys. Rev. C (2017)

First On-Site True Gamma-Ray Imaging-Spectroscopy of Contamination near Fukushima Plant [CL]

We have developed an Electron Tracking Compton Camera (ETCC), which provides a well-defined Point Spread Function (PSF) by reconstructing a direction of each gamma as a point and realizes simultaneous measurement of brightness and spectrum of MeV gamma-rays for the first time. Here, we present the results of our on-site pilot gamma-imaging-spectroscopy with ETCC at three contaminated locations in the vicinity of the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plants in Japan in 2014. The obtained distribution of brightness (or emissivity) with remote-sensing observations is unambiguously converted into the dose distribution. We confirm that the dose distribution is consistent with the one taken by conventional mapping measurements with a dosimeter physically placed at each grid point. Furthermore, its imaging spectroscopy, boosted by Compton-edge-free spectra, reveals complex radioactive features in a quantitative manner around each individual target point in the background-dominated environment. Notably, we successfully identify a “micro hot spot” of residual caesium contamination even in an already decontaminated area. These results show that the ETCC performs exactly as the geometrical optics predicts, demonstrates its versatility in the field radiation measurement, and reveals potentials for application in many fields, including the nuclear industry, medical field, and astronomy.

Read this paper on arXiv…

D. Tomono, T. Mizumoto, A. Takada, et. al.
Fri, 10 Feb 17

Comments: 19 pages, 7 figures, 2 tables