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Absolutely Scintillating: constraining $\nu$ mass with black hole-forming supernovae

George ParkerMichael Wurm
Nov 2023
The terrestrial detection of a neutrino burst from the next galactic core-collapse supernova (CCSN) will provide profound insight into stellar astrophysics, as well as fundamental neutrino physics. Using Time-Of-Flight (ToF) effects, a CCSN signal can be used to constrain the absolute neutrino mass. In this work, we study the case where a black hole forms during core-collapse, abruptly truncating the neutrino signal. This sharp cutoff is a feature that can be leveraged in a ToF study, enabling strict limits to be set on the neutrino mass which are largely model-independent. If supernova neutrinos are detected on Earth in liquid scintillator detectors, the exceptional energy resolution would allow an energy-dependent sampling of the ToF effects at low neutrino energies. One promising experimental program is the Jiangmen Underground Neutrino Observatory (JUNO), a next-generation liquid scintillator detector currently under construction in China. Using three-dimensional black hole-forming core-collapse supernova simulations, the sensitivity of a JUNO-like detector to the absolute neutrino mass is conservatively estimated to be $m_\nu < 0.39^{+0.06}_{-0.01}$ eV for a 95% CL bound. A future-generation liquid scintillator observatory like THEIA-100 could even achieve sub-0.2 eV sensitivity.
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