Seminar Details

Double Beta Decay: Search for Physics beyond Standard Model

Mihai Horoi, Central Michigan University
Tuesday, September 10, 11:00 AM - Theory Seminar
NSCL Seminar Room

Neutrinoless double beta decay is a unique process that could reveal physics beyond the Standard Model of particle physics. If observed, it would prove that neutrinos are Majorana fermions, and it could provide additional information regarding the origin of the decay mechanism, the neutrino mass hierarchy, and the lowest neutrino mass. This additional information could be revealed if reliable nuclear matrix elements (NME) associated with these decay mechanisms can be obtained. The two-neutrino double beta decay is an associate process that is allowed by the Standard Model, and it was observed for about ten nuclei. The NME associated with this decay mode are even more difficult to calculate, but they can be directly related to the experimental half-lives, and they can be constrained using data from charge-exchange reactions. I will present a brief overview of the theoretical challenges associated with these two processes, emphasizing the tools necessary to reliably calculate the associated nuclear matrix elements. I will also emphasize the role of the competing mechanisms that could contribute to the neutrinoless double beta decay rate. The special cases of 48Ca and 136Xe are analyzed.