CMB Signals of Neutrino Mass Generation

We propose signals in the cosmic microwave background to probe the type and spectrum of neutrino masses. In theories that have spontaneous breaking of approximate lepton flavor symmetries at or below the weak scale, light pseudo-Goldstone bosons recouple to the cosmic neutrinos after nucleosynthesis and affect the acoustic oscillations of the electron-photon fluid during the eV era. Deviations from the Standard Model are predicted for both the total energy density in radiation during this epoch, \Delta N_nu, and for the multipole of the n'th CMB peak at large n, \Delta l_n. The latter signal is difficult to reproduce other than by scattering of the known neutrinos, and is therefore an ideal test of our class of theories. In many models, the large shift, \Delta l_n \approx 8 n_S, depends on the number of neutrino species that scatter via the pseudo-Goldstone boson interaction. This interaction is proportional to the neutrino masses, so that the signal reflects the neutrino spectrum. The prediction for \Delta N_nu is highly model dependent, but can be accurately computed within any given model. It is very sensitive to the number of pseudo-Goldstone bosons, and therefore to the underlying symmetries of the leptons, and is typically in the region of 0.03 < \Delta N_nu < 1. This signal is significantly larger for Majorana neutrinos than for Dirac neutrinos, and, like the scattering signal, varies as the spectrum of neutrinos is changed from hierarchical to inverse hierarchical to degenerate.
hep group
Last modified: Wed Sep 17 21:35:31 EDT 2003