We report an indication that the elastic scattering rate of solar B8 neutrinos with electrons in the Super-Kamiokande detector is larger when the neutrinos pass through Earth during nighttime. We determine the day-night asymmetry, defined as the difference of the average day rate and average night rate divided by the average of those two rates, to be [-3.2±1.1(stat) ±0.5(syst)]%, which deviates from zero by 2.7σ. Since the elastic scattering process is mostly sensitive to electron-flavored solar neutrinos, a nonzero day-night asymmetry implies that the flavor oscillations of solar neutrinos are affected by the presence of matter within the neutrinos' flight path. Super-Kamiokande's day-night asymmetry is consistent with neutrino oscillations for 4×10-5 eV2≤Δm212≤7×10-5 eV2 and large mixing values of θ12, at the 68% C.L.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)