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sin^2 θ_W estimate and bounds on nonstandard interactions at source and detector in the solar neutrino low-energy regime

We explore the implications of the Borexino experiment’s real time measurements of the lowest energy part of the neutrino spectrum from the primary pp fusion process up to 0.420 MeV through the 7Be decay at 0.862 MeV to the pep reaction at 1.44 MeV. We exploit the fact that at such low energies, the large mixing angle solution to the Mikheyev-Smirnov-Wolfenstein matter effects in the sun are small for 7Be and pep and negligible for pp. Consequently, the neutrinos produced in the sun change their flavor almost entirely through vacuum oscillations during propagation from the sun’s surface and through possible nonstandard interactions acting at the solar source and Borexino detector. We combine the different NSI effects at source and detector in a single framework and use the current Borexino data to bound NSI non-universal and flavor-changing parameters at energies below the reach of reactor neutrino experiments. We also study the implication of the current data for the weak-mixing angle at this “low-energy frontier” data from the Borexino experiment, where it is expected to be slightly larger than its value at the Z mass. We find sin2 θW = 0.224 ± 0.016, the lowest energy-scale estimate to date. Looking to the future, we use projected sensitivities to solar neutrinos in next generation dedicated solar experiments and direct dark matter detection experiments and find a potential factor five improvement in determination of the weak-mixing angle and up to an order of magnitude improvement in probing the NSI parameters space.

Journal of High Energy Physics, :143

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Authors: 
Amir N. Khan and Douglas W. McKay* * KU Author