New data from WMAP have appeared, related to both the fractional energy density in relativistic species at decoupling and also the primordial helium abundance, at the same time as other independent observational estimates suggest a higher value of the latter than previously estimated. All the data are consistent with the possibility that the effective number of relativistic species in the radiation gas at the time of Big Bang Nucleosynthesis may exceed the value of 3, as expected from a CP-symmetric population of the known neutrino species. Here we explore the possibility that new neutrino physics accounts for such an excess. We explore different realizations, including neutrino asymmetry and new neutrino species, as well as their combination, and describe how existing constraints on neutrino physics would need to be relaxed as a result of the new data, as well as possible experimental tests of these possibilities.
- Pub Date:
- September 2010
- High Energy Physics - Phenomenology;
- Astrophysics - Cosmology and Extragalactic Astrophysics;
- Nuclear Theory
- 7 pages, 2 figs, submitted to Phys. Rev D: revised in response to referee's comments..additional referencing, and clarification of several issues including updated conclusions