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Mikheyev-Smirnov-Wolfenstein effect

(MSW effect)
(neutrino oscillation between three flavors)

The Mikheyev-Smirnov-Wolfenstein effect (MSW effect) is the theory of a quantum-mechanical mechanism for neutrino oscillation, that would produce a particular oscillation between the three flavors of neutrino (electron neutrino, muon neutrino, and tau neutrino).

Neutrino detection eventually produced evidence confirming the effect and solving the solar neutrino problem. The problem was that theory predicted more neutrinos from the Sun than were at the time detected, and the MSW effect was considered one possible solution (Without this effect, neutrinos would oscillate according to the theory of quantum mixing, but not in such a way as to match what was observed). Subsequent detection experiments have found subgroup populations of neutrinos matching the predictions of the MSW effect.


Referenced by:
quantum mixing