5 - Sudbury Neutrino Observatory Report - An Analysis

Missing Neutrinos

A thermonuclear reaction of the type assumed to be powering the Sun must emit a flood of electron-neutrinos. Nowhere near the requisite number of these neutrinos have been found after thirty years of searching for them. A series of grandly expensive experiments have failed to find the necessary neutrino flux.

Some solar neutrinos have indeed been observed - but only one-third the number required if the fusion reaction really is the main source of the Sun's energy production. These negative results from the neutrino experiments have resulted not in any re-examination of solar models. Rather, an intense theoretical effort to discover new properties that solar neutrinos 'must have' has occurred.


As a result of this effort, it was announced (June 2001) by the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO) in Canada that neutrinos have mass and can change 'flavor'. This supposedly accounts for why they have not been fully observed previously. However, several important questions remain to be answered about the methodology that was used by the SNO researchers in arriving at their conclusions. Of course, whether neutrinos actually do change type or not has no bearing whatever on the validity of the Electric Sun model.


The neutrino problem is a hurdle only for the standard fusion model. In the Electric Sun model there is no energy produced in the core - radiant energy is released at the surface by electric arc discharge. So, there is no 'missing neutrino' problem for the electric Sun model. The electron-neutrinos that are observed are probably produced by fusion taking place at the solar surface that produces heavy elements (other than hydrogen and helium).

For decades the measured deficiency of electron-neutrinos has been a continuing embarrassment for those who want to believe that the accepted H-He fusion model of how the Sun produces its energy is correct.


Because this failure to observe the predicted neutrino flux clearly constitutes falsification of this fusion model, there has been a great effort to explain away the observed deficit.

The Official Announcement

In June 2001, the Sudbury Neutrino Observatory (SNO) in Ontario, Canada made an announcement that was joyfully hailed by proponents of the accepted mainstream fusion model. The complete official announcement can be viewed here .

As a result of their interpretation of the data obtained from their experiment, SNO researchers claim that the deficit does not lie with the fusion model, but is due to the fact that neutrinos change from one flavor to another on their way from the center of the Sun to Earth.

There are thought to be three flavors of neutrino: electron-neutrinos, muon-neutrinos, and tau-neutrinos. Some of these flavors were not measurable by the previous experiments that were looking for them. SNO researchers claim, on the basis of their experiment, that the measurable neutrinos turn into previously non-measurable ones enroute from the Sun's core.


That 'oscillation', they say, explains the previously measured shortage.

Press Releases

Press releases were filled with pronouncements of confidence that the standard fusion reaction is indeed alive and well at the core of the Sun. There was, however, more rejoicing than factual information in most of these releases.

Some examples:

  1. "Physicists have wrestled with the 'solar neutrino problem' since the early 1970s, when experiments detected a shortfall of the particles coming from the sun. The neutrino shortage meant either that theories describing the nuclear furnace at the sun's core were wrong, or that something was happening to the particles on their way to Earth. Monday's announcement demonstrates with 99 percent confidence that it is the latter."

    - AP article appearing on line in The Nando Times of June 19, entitled "Physicists: Neutrinos have some mass," by Matt Crenson.

    QUESTION: What was the basis for the “99% confidence” figure? Was that a mathematically derived number based on a statistical analysis - or was it just pulled out of the blue – an example of unprofessional, non-scientific, hubris?

  2. "The SNO detector has the capability to determine whether solar neutrinos are changing their type en-route to Earth, thus providing answers to questions about neutrino properties and solar energy generation." - http://www.sno.phy.queensu.ca/sno/first_results/

    QUESTION: How can the SNO team claim the ability to determine whether something happens to neutrinos enroute from the Sun to Earth without making measurements at the Sun (at the start of the journey) or somewhere along the route? Or by making assumptions about how they started out? More on this question below.

  3. "SNO appears to be measuring a rate expected for all types of neutrinos combined but a decided deficit for the electron neutrino." http://antwrp.gsfc.nasa.gov/apod/ap010710.html

    COMMENT: This appears to be in complete contradiction with the official announcement that states that the results of the only SNO experiment that can measure all three flavors of neutrino will not be announced until a later time.


Analysis of the Official Announcement

The SNO observations were only made here on Earth. No satellite observations were made anywhere along the path, certainly not at its beginning where the neutrinos start their journey (inside the Sun).


Consider a freight train that goes from New York to Chicago. We live in Chicago and are only able to observe the train as it arrives in Chicago. It arrives with 4 freight cars, 2 tank cars, and 1 flat car. How is it possible, no matter how sophisticated our method of observation, for us to make any conclusions about whether freight cars, tank cars, or flat cars have been added to or subtracted from the train at, say, Cleveland? Moreover, how is it possible to say that freight cars have mysteriously turned into tank cars or flat cars along the route somewhere? (And do it with “99% confidence”?)

The answer must be that they are assuming they know the value of the neutrino flux leaving the Sun. If so, this is an exercise in circular reasoning. If they know what the solar neutrino flux leaving the Sun is, there is no need for the experiment. The experiment adds nothing in the way of verification of the assumption. It certainly does not explain the low value of neutrino flux observed here on Earth, it only confirms it.

The logic used in drawing conclusions seems to be faulty in other ways as well.


A sentence from the conclusion of the report

In the conclusion of the Sudbury report it states:

"Comparison of the (neutrino) flux deduced from the ES reaction assuming no neutrino oscillations, to that measured by the CC reaction can provide clear evidence of flavor transformation without reference to solar model flux calculations. If neutrinos from the Sun change into other active flavors, then CC flux < ES flux."

A logical analysis of the last above sentence:

(a) = Neutrinos from the Sun change into other active flavors.
(b) = Electron-neutrino flux measurement is less than the measurement that includes electron-neutrinos and some of the other two types as well.

The sentence says: IF (a) is true, THEN (b) is true. No one can disagree with that.

But they are implying: IF (b) is true, THEN (a) is true. (If the measurement of the flux of electron-type neutrinos is less than the more inclusive measurement that includes some of the other types, then neutrinos from the Sun change flavor on their way to Earth.)

That is a logical non-sequitor. If the Sun is emitting all three types of neutrinos, e+u+t, then any Earthbound experiment that measures only e will always have a lower output than one that measures (for example) e + 0.1u + 0.3t.


Moreover, the report states that the CC measured value (e type only) is "significantly smaller than the measurements by [S. Fukuda in an earlier experiment]".


So the electron neutrino flux just measured by SNO is even lower than previously reported levels. And it is possible that muon-neutrinos oscillate into electron-neutrinos. And that presents a further complication to the SNO conclusions because of the already extremely low value of measured electron-neutrino flux.

There have been other neutrino experiments that have resulted in unclear answers about whether neutrinos 'oscillate' into different types. The final report of the Liquid Scintillator Neutrino Detector (LSND) experiment in 2001said their results strengthened previously published, but controversial LSND results that provided evidence of neutrino oscillation and mass.


The LSND data, collected from 1993 to 1998, suggested that muon anti-neutrinos oscillate into electron anti-neutrinos. However the MiniBooNE project results of 2007 reported no mu-neutrino to electron-neutrino oscillations of the sort that would explain the LSND result. MiniBooNE was designed specifically to look for this, and has successfully ruled it out at 98% confidence level.


So it is now exceedingly doubtful that the long sought excuse for the solar neutrino flux deficit has been found.

A measurement that can and should be made but was not

It is regrettable that the SNO results do not address several other pertinent questions relative to the solar neutrino flux. For example, why does the total flux seem to be a function of the sunspot cycle? Physicist Wal Thornhill points this out in detail in his analysis of the neutrino problem at his Holoscience web site.
Thornhill points out that the Electric Sun model predicts that fluctuations in the neutrino flux will be correlated with the level of electrical input to the Sun – that is, with such measurable phenomena as sunspot numbers and solar wind activity.


This correlation has already been observed qualitatively. The standard solar model cannot explain it. Neutrinos carry no electrical charge; therefore, the usual 'hidden strange magnetic fields lurking beneath the Sun’s surface' cannot be invoked to explain away a correlation between neutrino flux and sunspot number if, indeed, that correlation is real.


Any quantitative determination of a relationship between neutrino flux and sunspot number and/or solar wind intensity would absolutely falsify the fusion model once and for all. And it would be further validation of the Electric Sun model.


But it was not undertaken.



The high decibel level of rejoicing contained in the SNO pronouncements is unprofessional. It is a clue that should not be ignored. It stands in curious contrast to the existence of errors in fundamental logic contained in the report. The prime requirement in research is scientific objectivity. And (given the paucity of actual data that was collected) there is substantial reason to question to what extent a degree of wishful thinking went into the announced conclusions of this report.

There simply is no way that a measurement taken at only one end of a transmission channel can reveal changes that have occurred farther up the channel. The only way such conclusions can be made is when observations have been made at more than one place along the path!


Further measurements (MiniBooNE 2007) have found no evidence to support the SNO 2001 announcement.

Clearly, although the fusion model is beloved by its advocates, an objective analysis of the Sudbury and MiniBooNE experiments reveal that the missing neutrino problem still remains very far from being solved.


And unless it is, the fusion model stands completely falsified.


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