Monday, June 14, 2010

Neutrinoless Double Beta Decay

Nuclear Double Beta Decay, Fundamental Particle Physics, Hot Dark Matter, And Dark Energy preprint.
Nuclear double beta decay, an extremely rare radioactive decay process, is - in one of its variants - one of the most exciting means of research into particle physics beyond the standard model. The large progress in sensitivity of experiments searching for neutrinoless double beta decay in the last two decades - based largely on the use of large amounts of enriched source material in "active source experiments" - has lead to the observation of the occurrence of this process in nature (on a 6.4 sigma level), with the largest half-life ever observed for a nuclear decay process (2.2 x 10^{25} y). This has fundamental consequences for particle physics - violation of lepton number, Majorana nature of the neutrino. These results are independent of any information on nuclear matrix elements (NME)*. It further leads to sharp restrictions for SUSY theories, sneutrino mass, right-handed W-boson mass, superheavy neutrino masses, compositeness, leptoquarks, violation of Lorentz invariance and equivalence principle in the neutrino sector. The masses of light-neutrinos are found to be degenerate, and to be at least 0.22 +- 0.02 eV. This fixes the contribution of neutrinos as hot dark matter to >=4.7% of the total observed dark matter. The neutrino mass determined might solve also the dark energy puzzle. *{It is briefly discussed how important NME for 0nubb decay really are.}

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