Neutrino helicity reversal and fundamental symmetries

U. D. Jentschura, B. J. Wundt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)


A rather elusive helicity reversal occurs in a gedanken experiment in which a massive left-handed Dirac neutrino, traveling at a velocity u < c, is overtaken on a highway by a speeding vehicle (traveling at velocity v with u < v < c). Namely, after passing the neutrino, looking back, one would see a right-handed neutrino (which has never been observed in nature). The Lorentz-invariant mass of the right-handed neutrino is still the same as before the passing. The gedanken experiment thus implies the existence of right-handed, light neutrinos, which are not completely sterile. Furthermore, overtaking a bunch of massive right-handed Dirac neutrinos leads to gradual de-sterilization. We discuss the helicity reversal and the concomitant sterilization and de-sterilization mechanisms by way of an illustrative example calculation, with a special emphasis on massive Dirac and Majorana neutrinos. We contrast the formalism with a modified Dirac neutrino described by a Dirac equation with a pseudoscalar mass term proportional to the fifth current.

Original languageEnglish
Article number075201
JournalJournal of Physics G: Nuclear and Particle Physics
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2014


  • Majorana neutrino
  • fundamental symmetries
  • helicity reversal
  • neutrino physics
  • spinor Lorentz transformation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics

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