Joint cosmology seminar at MIT:

Tuesday, October 25, 2016, 2:30 pm
Cosman Seminar Room
Center for Theoretical Physics
Building 6C, Room 6C-442
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Refreshments at 2:00 in the same room

Rethinking the Origin of Small Neutrino Masses

Lena Funcke
MPP and LMU Munich


The observed small neutrino masses are one of the greatest mysteries in current theoretical particle physics. Many possible origins have been proposed so far, such as the see-saw mechanism, radiative corrections, or large extra dimensions. While all these models have been connected in some way to the Higgs condensate, we propose a substantially different mechanism based on nonperturbative gravity: assuming that gravity contains a topological $\theta$-term analogous to the famous $\theta$-term of QCD, we show that a neutrino condensate emerges and effectively generates the small neutrino masses. This neutrino mass generation mechanism implies numerous phenomenological consequences, such as the invalidity of the cosmological neutrino mass bound, enhanced neutrino-neutrino interactions, and neutrino decays.