New matter effects and BBN constraints for mass-varying neutrinos

Neal Weiner, Kathryn Zurek

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


    The presence of light (mA∼10-6eV) scalar fields in the early universe can modify the cosmology of neutrinos considerably by allowing their masses to vary on cosmological times. In this paper, we consider the effect of Planck-suppressed couplings of this scalar to electrons and show that such couplings easily can make new sterile states thermally inaccessible in the early universe, preserving the successes of big bang nucleosynthesis predictions. We consider the circumstances under which these effects give the proper initial conditions for recently considered models of neutrino dark energy, and consider limits from tests of the equivalence principle. The parameters which satisfy cosmological constraints naturally give rise to interesting signals in terrestrial neutrino oscillation experiments.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Article number023517
    JournalPhysical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology
    Issue number2
    StatePublished - 2006

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
    • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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