Students in the N3AS undergraduate research program are supported directly by N3AS. In addition to a scientific mentor, the students have a non-science mentor and participate in bi-weekly lectures or activities with N3AS members.
We are investigating the evolution of neutrinos in astrophysical environments. By assuming an open quantum system, we utilize the formalism of Lindblad operators and non-Hermitian Hamiltonians to describe the dynamics and identify correlations to established equations of neutrino flavor evolution (i.e. the Stodolsky and Dodelson-Widrow equations). Moreover, we study the exceptional points of the Lindblad and non-Hermitian Hamiltonian systems and analyze their physical significance.
I am working on doing radiation transfer calculations to simulate the gamma-ray light curves and spectra resulting from the beta decay of 56-Ni into 56-Co, and then 56-Fe in type Ia supernovae. The ultimate goal of this exercise being to simulate the gamma ray signals from the radioactive decays of the r-process isotopes from a kilonova. To this end, all of the computational work will be done in Python.
The current problem I’m working on is two-flavor neutrino oscillations. By solving a variable coefficient ODE system using some approximations and initial conditions, we will obtain functions describing neutrino oscillations. One application of these results is to calculate the survival probability of a neutrino outside a solar. In the future, I expect to figure out neutrino oscillations involving more flavors.
I work with Prof. Wick Haxton on investigating the validity of the relationship between solar neutrino fluxes and the Sun’s luminosity, i.e. the luminosity constraint, which assumes nuclear reactions, specifically low-energy neutrinos produced from pp-chain reactions, are the Sun’s primary energy source. The relevance of such a relation relies on the possibility of expressing solar photon luminosity as a linear combination of neutrinos, and my project focuses on testing the accuracy of this linear equation or whether there are other parameters to be considered, such as the small high-energy neutrino flux produced from low-energy reactions that are not calculable from simply knowing the solar luminosity. If the soundness of the luminosity constraint can be determined, it would reaffirm our understanding of solar neutrinos and their association with the Sun’s interior.
Manibrata and I are studying Neutrino Oscillations and plotting several graphs that depict the various properties of oscillations (sinusoidal nature of probability vs. distance plot for example). The eventual goal will be to apply this in the context of a supernova, where neutrino self-interactions are also relevant. Depending on our progress, we want to study and understand toy models of three neutrino flavor evolution inside a supernova.