Ideosphere Forum

Re: fx-discuss: FX claim Neut: judge's statement changed

Author: Jim Gillogly
Conversation: fx-discuss: FX claim Neut: judge's statement changed ( prev | next ) reply!
Topic: fx-discuss ( prev | next )
In-Reply-To: Kerry Whisnant's post
Followed-Up-By: Kerry Whisnant's post
Date: Tue Jan 02, 2018 12:09 pm
Kerry Whisnant
Jim Gillogly
Kerry Whisnant

Kerry (and fx-discuss) -

Thanks for the explanation of the state of knowledge on the Neut claim. It
was news to me. Your identification of ambiguity in the claim statement
means that once the data is in, investors on the losing side would have a
reasonable basis for dissatisfaction. From what I've read (and I'm *not* a
researcher in the area) it will likely be some time before a reasonable
confidence level of the measurements is reached, so that should give time
for the investors to adjust their holdings based on this uncertainty.

In the meantime, I would be happy to step aside as the judge in favor of
someone like you who really knows the field and the outcome options, and
who has no stake in Neut. I'm also mostly inactive. If that's not an
option, then yes, I would like to see the formula you'd propose for
calculating option 2).

On Tue, Jan 2, 2018 at 8:41 AM, Kerry Whisnant <> wrote:

> Yes, the long description is the relevant criterion for judging. As a
> researcher in this area, a few comments:
> First, it is generally accepted now that neutrinos have mass. Although the
> measurements are indirect, there are many different experiments that
> indicate this. While there are some alternative explanations for some of
> the data, only nonzero neutrino mass can explain the data in its totality.
> Second, strictly speaking the electron neutrino does not have a unique
> mass. The weak eigenstates -- electron, muon, and tau neutrinos, which
> couple to the electron, muon and tau charged leptons, respectively -- are
> linear combinations of the so-called mass eigenstates (which do have a
> specific mass). So the statement of the claim is not well-defined -- the
> electron neutrino does not have a unique mass, but the neutrinos states
> that do have a unique mass are not purely electron neutrino.
> I see two primary ways to go here: 1) you could say that the spirit of the
> claim is that the lightest neutrino mass eigenstate must be 0.01 eV or
> greater, and use that as the criterion, or 2) if you want to assign a mass
> to the electron neutrino, you could take the weighted average using the
> squared coefficients of the linear combination for the electron neutrino as
> weights. Since the claim specifically mentions the electron neutrino, I
> would lean toward the latter interpretation (I can provide the formula if
> you want to go this route). But if some people entered this claim thinking
> it referred to the lightest neutrino, there could be some controversy.
> Given the current state of the data, these two interpretations could very
> well give different answers.
> We currently don't know if the electron neutrino couples more strongly to
> the lightest or heaviest neutrino mass eigenstate. If interpretation 2)
> above is taken, and it is shown that the electron couples more strongly to
> the heaviest mass neutrino (which has mass > 0.05 eV) -- a situation called
> an inverted hierarchy -- then the claim could be judged true without
> actually knowing the precise neutrino masses. If it is shown that the
> electron neutrino couples more strongly to the lightest mass eigenstate --
> called a normal hierarchy -- it will be much harder to reach a conclusion
> on the claim (you would have to show that the lightest mass was at least
> 0.004 eV).
> A final comment: no measurement in physics is ever precise -- there are
> always experimental uncertainties. In our field we usually require a
> 5-sigma effect before we consider a claim to be proven. So it might be a
> good idea to require something like a 5-sigma confidence level before the
> claim is finally judged.
> Kerry Whisnant
> P.S. I am basically an inactive player in FX who still receives these
> emails, and have no stake in this claim.
> On 12/31/17 4:47 PM, Jim Gillogly wrote:
> I changed the judge's statement for the Neut claim to reflect my response
> to the query below. As always, please send pointers to relevant research
> that I should take into account.
> Jim
> > I'm writing to inquire about the adjudication of the ideosphere claim
> "Neutrino Mass > 0."
> >
> > In 2015, the Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to Takaaki Kajita and
> Arthur B. McDonald "for the discovery of neutrino oscillations, which shows
> that neutrinos have mass."
> >
> >
> 2015/press.html
> >
> > Is this enough to settle the claim?
> --
> Jim Gillogly
> --
> Kerry Whisnant
> Physics & Astronomy
> Iowa State University

Jim Gillogly


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