Physical Review Letters, 79: 4522 - 4524, 8 December 1997

Absence of Correlation between the Solar Neutrino Flux and the Sunspot Number

Guenther Walther

Department of Statistics, Sequoia Hall, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA


There exists a considerable amount of research claiming a puzzling anticorrelation between the neutrino detection rate at the Homestake experiment and indicators of solar activity such as the sunspot number, giving rise to explanations involving the hypothesis of a neutrino magnetic moment. It is argued here that the claimed significant anticorrelation is due to a statistical fallacy. A proper test based on certain optimality criteria fails to detect a significant time variation of the neutrino flux in concert with the sunspot number, providing evidence that the observations are consistent with no correlation between the two series.

Maintained by Mark Weber.

Last modified: 2002 April 30.