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Neutrinos are produced as flavor eigenstates (coherent linear combination of mass eigenstates). If the distance traveled is large enough, the wave packages of the mass eigenstates will not overlap anymore (since they have different group velocities due to the different masses) and coherence is lost (so no oscillation). So far, so good. Now, when we detect them (again, as flavor eigenstates), are we going to detect three neutrinos? This is of course veeeery weird, having produced one neutrino and detecting three, but what happens then?

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No, it is a superposition, not a tensor product. When we measure something in a superposition, we get one result from one of the terms in the superposition with a probability determined by the coefficient of that term in the superposition. To detect three neutrinos, the state would have to be in the form of a tensor product of the three neutrinos.

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  • $\begingroup$ Thanks. I really never doubted that we detect one neutrino. What troubles me is the fact that the 3 mass eigenstates are completely spatially separated. This makes the definition of a flavor eigenstate shake, since a flavor is a linear combination of mass eigenstates, when you cannot tell the difference because the QM uncertainty is large enough to render the mass difference irrelevant. $\endgroup$
    – user268009
    Dec 22, 2023 at 12:46

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