Constraining sterile neutrinos using reactor neutrino experiments

  • Ivan Girardi
  • Davide Melon
  • Tommy Ohlsson
  • He Zhang
  • Shun Zhou
Open Access


Models of neutrino mixing involving one or more sterile neutrinos have resurrected their importance in the light of recent cosmological data. In this case, reactor antineutrino experiments offer an ideal place to look for signatures of sterile neutrinos due to their impact on neutrino flavor transitions. In this work, we show that the high-precision data of the Daya Bay experiment constrain the 3+1 neutrino scenario imposing upper bounds on the relevant active-sterile mixing angle sin2 2θ 14 ≲ 0.06 at 3σ confidence level for the mass-squared difference Δm 41 2 in the range (10−3, 10−1) eV2. The latter bound can be improved by six years of running of the JUNO experiment, sin2 2θ 14 ≲ 0.016, although in the smaller mass range Δm 41 2 ∈ (10−4, 10−3) eV2. We have also investigated the impact of sterile neutrinos on precision measurements of the standard neutrino oscillation parameters θ 13 and Δm 31 2 (at Daya Bay and JUNO), θ 12 and Δm 21 2 (at JUNO), and most importantly, the neutrino mass hierarchy (at JUNO). We find that, except for the obvious situation where Δm 41 2  ≲ Δm 31 2 , sterile states do not affect these measurements substantially.


Neutrino Physics Beyond Standard Model 


Open Access

This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC-BY 4.0), which permits any use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author(s) and source are credited.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ivan Girardi
    • 1
  • Davide Melon
    • 2
  • Tommy Ohlsson
    • 3
  • He Zhang
    • 4
  • Shun Zhou
    • 3
  1. 1.SISSA/INFNTriesteItaly
  2. 2.Dipartimento di Matematica e FisicaUniversità di Roma TreRomeItaly
  3. 3.Department of Theoretical Physics, School of Engineering Sciences, KTH Royal Institute of TechnologyAlbaNova University CenterStockholmSweden
  4. 4.Max-Planck-Institut für KernphysikHeidelbergGermany

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