Objective Bayesian analysis of neutrino masses and hierarchy

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Title: Objective Bayesian analysis of neutrino masses and hierarchy
Authors: Heavens, AF
Sellentin, E
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: Given the precision of current neutrino data, priors still impact noticeably the constraints on neutrino masses and their hierarchy. To avoid our understanding of neutrinos being driven by prior assumptions, we construct a prior that is mathematically minimally informative. Using the constructed uninformative prior, we find that the normal hierarchy is favoured but with inconclusive posterior odds of 5.1:1. Better data is hence needed before the neutrino masses and their hierarchy can be well constrained. We find that the next decade of cosmological data should provide conclusive evidence if the normal hierarchy with negligible minimum mass is correct, and if the uncertainty in the sum of neutrino masses drops below 0.025 eV. On the other hand, if neutrinos obey the inverted hierarchy, achieving strong evidence will be difficult with the same uncertainties. Our uninformative prior was constructed from principles of the Objective Bayesian approach. The prior is called a reference prior and is minimally informative in the specific sense that the information gain after collection of data is maximised. The prior is computed for the combination of neutrino oscillation data and cosmological data and still applies if the data improve.
Issue Date: 18-Apr-2018
Date of Acceptance: 5-Apr-2018
ISSN: 1475-7516
Publisher: IOP Publishing
Journal / Book Title: Journal of Cosmology and Astroparticle Physics
Volume: 2018
Copyright Statement: © 2018 The Author(s). Published by IOP Publishing Ltd on behalf of Sissa Medialab. Original content from this work may be used under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 licence. Any further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the title of the work, journal citation and DOI.
Sponsor/Funder: Imperial College Trust
Science and Technology Facilities Council
Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC)
Funder's Grant Number: N/A
Keywords: 0201 Astronomical And Space Sciences
0202 Atomic, Molecular, Nuclear, Particle And Plasma Physics
Nuclear & Particles Physics
Publication Status: Published
Appears in Collections:Physics
Faculty of Natural Sciences

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