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Tuesday, February 26
Double Beta Decay, Neutrino Mass, and
Steven R. Elliott, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, N.M.
the Majorana Project
Physics Division Seminar
3:00 PM — 4:00 PM, Building 6008, Conference Room
Contact: Alfredo Galindo-Uribarri (firstname.lastname@example.org), 865.574.6124
AbstractAt least one neutrino has a mass of about 50 meV or larger. However, the absolute mass scale for the neutrino is unknown. Furthermore, the critical question: Is the neutrino its own antiparticle? remains unanswered. Studies of double beta decay offer hope for determining the absolute mass scale. In particular, zero-neutrino double beta decay (0νßß) can address the issues of lepton number conservation, the particle-antiparticle nature of the neutrino, and its mass. The 0νßß half-life of a nucleus is directly related to the neutrino mass. But, due to the smallness of the neutrino mass, the half-life is very long; at least greater than 1025 years. Hence any search for 0νßß must minimize the background of other processes that may take place in a detector and mask the sought-for signal. The MAJORANA DEMONSTRATOR will search for 0νßß in