In 1985, a tritium beta decay experiment [Sim85] announced to have observed an end of beta decay spectrum compatible with the existence of a new neutrino, with a mass of 17 keV. If stable, this neutrino, to be added to the three families already known, would be a problem for the Standard Model of particle physics and for the cosmological observations. This observation trigerred an important activity experimental or theoretical. It has never been confirmed and has been killed in 1993 [Sch93,Mor93]. Douglas Morrison [Mor93] summarized : “Experiments showing evidence for a heavy neutrino with a mass of 17 keV launched the new particle on an erratic eight-year career, during which it raised questions about the Standard Model of particle physics and about cosmological theories, stimulated many theoretical papers and pushed experimental techniques to their limit. Its demise provides grounds for faith in the efficacy of the scientific method“. Some other reviews: [Fra95,Wie96,Fra07].
|Fra07||Allan J. Franklin||The Discovery and Nondiscovery of Neutrinos: The Reines Cowan Experiment and the 17 keV Neutrino||AIP Conference Proceedings 917, 12 (2007)|
|Fra95||Allan Franklin||The appearance and disappearance of the 17-keV neutrino||Rev. Mod. Phys. 67 (1995) 457|
|Mor93||D.R.O. Morrison||The rise and fall of the 17-keV neutrino||Nature 366 (1993) 29|
|Sch93||Bertram Schwarzschild||In Old and New Experiments, the 17-KeV Neutrino Goes Away||Physics Today 46, 4, 17 (1993)|
|Sim85||J.J. Simpson||Evidence for Heavy-Neutrino Emission in Beta-Decay||Phys. Rev. Lett. 54 (1985) 1891|
|Wie96||F.E. Wietfeld, E.B. Norman||The 17-keV neutrino||Physics Reports 273 (1996) 149|