Feeds

Astronomers provide new estimate for neutrino mass

WiggleZ in the space-time continuum

The smart choice: opportunity from uncertainty

The WiggleZ sky survey, which last year announced that its map of 240,000 galaxies provided strong evidence for “dark energy”, has now formed the basis for a new estimate of neutrino mass.

Neutrino mass has proved elusive: it’s easier to measure the difference between the masses of different neutrino species than it is to gain a “baseline” absolute neutrino mass.

According to the University of Queensland, whose Dr Signe Riemer-Sørensen is lead author of a study published by the American Physical Society (abstract here), the huge amount of data provided by the WiggleZ survey “used the Universe as a large-scale particle physics experiment”.

The survey data sought to use astronomers’ understanding of galaxy formation to help constrain the mass range of the neutrino. In particular, the scientists focused on high-redshift, star-forming, and blue galaxies in the WiggleZ sample.

A mixture of analytical modeling and simulation provides them with a “95% confidence” estimate of neutrino mass: ∑mν<0.60  eV, with the other end of the scale at ∑mν<0.29 eV, “the strongest neutrino mass constraint derived from spectroscopic galaxy redshift surveys”.

The upper limit is considerably greater than previous estimates gleaned from galactic surveys.

To put that in perspective: the rest mas of the electron is around 0.511 MeV – roughly one to two million times the neutrino mass estimated by Riemer-Sørensen’s group (which also included scientists from the USA, South Africa and Canada).

The WiggleZ survey was conducted between August 2006 and January 2011, and its data is online here. ®

Eight steps to building an HP BladeSystem

More from The Register

next story
Malaysian Airlines flight MH17 claimed lives of HIV/AIDS cure scientists
Researchers, advocates, health workers among those on shot-down plane
Mwa-ha-ha-ha! Eccentric billionaire Musk gets his PRIVATE SPACEPORT
In the Lone Star State, perhaps appropriately enough
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Diary note: Pluto's close-up is a year from … now!
New Horizons is less than a year from the dwarf planet
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
Microsoft's anti-bug breakthrough: Wire devs to BRAIN SCANNERS
Clippy: It looks your hands are shaking, are you sure you want to commit this code?
prev story

Whitepapers

Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Consolidation: the foundation for IT and business transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.