Can we measure the neutrino mass hierarchy in the sky?

Raul Jimenez, Thomas Kitching, Carlos Peña-Garay, Licia Verde

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cosmological probes are steadily reducing the total neutrino mass window, resulting in constraints on the neutrino-mass degeneracy as the most significant outcome. In this work we explore the discovery potential of cosmological probes to constrain the neutrino hierarchy, and point out some subtleties that could yield spurious claims of detection. This has an important implication for next generation of double beta decay experiments, that will be able to achieve a positive signal in the case of degenerate or inverted hierarchy of Majorana neutrinos. We find that cosmological experiments that nearly cover the whole sky could in principle distinguish the neutrino hierarchy by yielding `substantial' evidence for one scenario over the another, via precise measurements of the shape of the matter power spectrum from large scale structure and weak gravitational lensing.
Original languageEnglish
Article number35
JournalJournal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics (JCAP)
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2010


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