The depth of our theoretical understanding of neutrino flavor mixing should match the importance of this phenomenon as a herald of long-awaited empirical challenges to the standard model of particle physics. After reviewing the familiar, simplified quantum mechanical model and its flaws, I sketch the deeper understanding of both vacuum and matter-enhanced flavor mixing that is found in the framework of scattering theory. While the simplified model gives the ``correct answer'' for atmospheric, solar, and accelerator/reactor neutrino phenomena, I argue that a key insight from the deeper picture will simplify the treatment of neutrino transport in astrophysical environments---supernovae, for example---in which neutrinos play a dynamically important role.
- Pub Date:
- June 2001
- High Energy Physics - Phenomenology
- 18 pages. Written contribution to the proceedings of ``Frontiers of Contemporary Physics--II,'' held March 5-10, 2001 at Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee