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Atmospheric Nuon-Neutrino Deficit from Decoherence


The simplest explanation for the observed deficit of atmospheric muon neutrinos is that they have oscillated into tau or sterile neutrinos with an oscillation length of the order of the Earth diameter. In order to confirm this hypothesis, all other possible explanations should be ruled out. We propose that a viable alternative hypothesis is that the muon neutrino deficit is caused by flavor sampling events that result in a loss of coherence. The coherence length of the muon neutrinos is expected to be approximately one Earth diameter. We give predictions and experimental tests of this scenario.

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