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Planetary Heating by Neutrinos: Long-Term Habitats for Aquatic Life if Dark Energy Decays Favourably

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DOI: 10.4236/jmp.2013.412A1004    3,951 Downloads   6,051 Views   Citations
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ABSTRACT

The potential cosmological and astrobiological implications of neutrinos are considered. Dark energy drives the current phase of accelerating cosmic expansion. Like inflation, it may decay in time to matter and radiation. However, since its energy density is minuscule in comparison, decay would be unlikely to inject such a rich variety of particles into the universe, and may instead be limited to the lowest energy fermions. Nonrelativistic neutrinos have the capacity to form stable, galaxy-engulfing haloes supported by degeneracy pressure, much like white dwarves and neutron stars. Conversely, bodies of mass can indefinitely rely on Coulomb forces for weight support. Opportunities for the mutual annihilation of electron neutrinos are largely confined to planets containing iron in the hcp phase. If dark energy decays primarily to neutrinos in 40 ~ 100 Gyr, then oceanic planets orbiting within the resulting haloes could provide long-term habitats for aquatic life with only lax constraints on the neutrino mass, . Various considerations now favour the possibility that neutrinos are Majorana particles with an inverted mass hierarchy and an electron neutrino mass in the vicinity of 50 meV. Sterile neutrinos of eV-mass may already be a significant component of dark matter, and could enhance planetary heating when active neutrino haloes become heavily depleted. An intriguing mechanism capable of regulating oceanic heat flux over a wide range of planetary masses is also described.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Cite this paper

R. Spivey, "Planetary Heating by Neutrinos: Long-Term Habitats for Aquatic Life if Dark Energy Decays Favourably," Journal of Modern Physics, Vol. 4 No. 12A, 2013, pp. 20-47. doi: 10.4236/jmp.2013.412A1004.

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