Introduction to False Paths

In the history of neutrino physics, there have been what we call “false paths”. They correspond to theoretical speculations or to measurements either wrong or overinterpreted, which did not survive after a period which could be several years. These false paths have to be considered as part of “how the science is made” and have contributed to the progress of neutrino science. We give below a brief account of some of them.

To give an example why we have to solve the apparently wrong speculations or measurements: the solar neutrino problem raised by Ray Davis in 1968 (the deficit of observed solar nue compared to solar model predictions) could have been due to an experimental artefact. After an intense experimental (and theoretical) effort, the search ended in 2001 with the SNO experiment, which has shown definitively  that the deficit concerned only nue and not the total flux, and which has contributed to the great discovery of neutrino oscillation.

During the conference on the History of the Neutrino (Sept. 5-7, 2018 in Paris) the subject of Neutrino mistakes or Fake νS was reviewed by Maury Goodman (Argonne National Lab., USA) where his slides can be found as well as the video of his talk.

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