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A decoherence explanation of the gallium neutrino anomaly

Yasaman Farzan, Thomas Schwetz

SciPost Phys. 15, 172 (2023) · published 19 October 2023


Gallium radioactive source experiments have reported a neutrino-induced event rate about 20% lower than expected with a high statistical significance. We present an explanation of this observation assuming quantum decoherence of the neutrinos in the gallium detectors at a scale of 2 m. This explanation is consistent with global data on neutrino oscillations, including solar neutrinos, if decoherence effects decrease quickly with energy, for instance with a power law $E_\nu^{-r}$ with r$\simeq$ 12. Our proposal does not require the presence of sterile neutrinos but implies a modification of the standard quantum mechanical evolution equations for active neutrinos.

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