Massive neutrinos, helium production and the primordial magnetic field

Stuart L. Shapiro, Ira Wasserman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Experimental evidence1 for a non-zero neutrino rest mass, m v≠0, while still controversial2, poses intriguing cosmological questions3-10. One reassurance is that the possibility of non-zero masses does not necessarily alter previous predictions of the standard big-bang model for the primordial 4He abundance, Y. We show here that a non-zero neutrino rest mass, mv ∼ 10eV, may provide the most stringent upper limit proposed to date on the strength of any ordered, primordial magnetic field: B0≲4 × 10-9/m v (eV) G. This limit is set by requiring that previous predictions of the standard big bang model for the primordial 4He abundance remain unaltered by the spin procession and subsequent thermalization of right-handed, as well as left-handed, Dirac neutrinos in the early Universe.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)657-658
Number of pages2
JournalNature
Volume289
Issue number5799
DOIs
StatePublished - 1981
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

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