Date of Award


Document Type

Honors Thesis (Colby Access Only)


Colby College. Physics and Astronomy Dept.


Kelly Patton


Neutrinos are fundamental particles which only interact via gravity and the weak force, which makes them uniquely hard to observe and study experimentally. There are three flavors in the Standard Model (SM) of particle physics, however there has been experimental results that suggest the existence of a theoretical fourth neutrino flavor, called the sterile neutrino, with the three flavors in the SM being active neutrinos. Sterile neutrinos would interact only via the gravity, which means we would only be able to detect them through neutrino oscillations. A potential environment in which active to sterile oscillations could be highly probable to occur is supernovae, due to a large amount of neutrinos being created through nuclear fusion as well as high and varying densities of matter through which the neutrinos propagate. To investigate the evolution of neutrinos in supernova environments and the possibility of stimulated sterile neutrino oscillations, we create a code to simulate the evolution of neutrinos through a supernova density profile.


Sterile neutrinos, Oscillations, Parametric resonance, Supernova