Probing New Physics Models of Neutrinoless Double Beta Decay with SuperNEMO

CNRS/IN2P3, Centre d’Etudes Nucléaires de Bordeaux Gradignan, UMR 5797, 33175 Gradignan, France
European Physical Journal C (Impact Factor: 5.08). 12/2010; 70(4):927-943. DOI: 10.1140/epjc/s10052-010-1481-5
Source: arXiv


The possibility to probe new physics scenarios of light Majorana neutrino exchange and right-handed currents at the planned
next generation neutrinoless double β decay experiment SuperNEMO is discussed. Its ability to study different isotopes and track the outgoing electrons provides
the means to discriminate different underlying mechanisms for the neutrinoless double β decay by measuring the decay half-life and the electron angular and energy distributions.

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    • "The SuperNEMO detector will consist of 20 identical modules, each housing ∼ 5–7 kg of source isotope , surrounded by a tracking chamber enclosed in a calorimeter. The detector will employ about 100 kg of enriched isotope in order to reach a sensitivity to a half-life of about 10 26 years, which corresponds to Majorana neutrino masses of about 53–145 meV [3]. β β decay is a very rare process and, therefore, special attention is devoted to background suppression, and radon 222 Rn is one of the most dangerous contributors. "
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    ABSTRACT: An apparatus developed for the measurement of radon diffusion through thin foils for the SuperNEMO project is presented. The goal of the SuperNEMO collaboration is to construct a new generation detector for the search for neutrinoless double-beta decay (0νββ) with 100 kg of enriched isotope as the source. At present, the collaboration is carrying out R&D in order to suppress significantly intrinsic background including that caused by radon. The description of the apparatus, data analysis method, as well as the results obtained in the measurement of radon diffusion through several types of thin foils, glue and sealant suitable for shielding in the SuperNEMO detector are discussed.
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    ABSTRACT: From the standard seesaw mechanism of neutrino mass generation, which is based on the assumption that the lepton number is violated at a large (~10exp(+15) GeV) scale, follows that the neutrinoless double-beta decay is ruled by the Majorana neutrino mass mechanism. Within this notion, for the inverted neutrino-mass hierarchy we derive allowed ranges of half-lives of the neutrinoless double-beta decay for nuclei of experimental interest with different sets of nuclear matrix elements. The present-day results of the calculation of the neutrinoless double-beta decay nuclear matrix elements are briefly discussed. We argue that if neutrinoless double-beta decay will be observed in future experiments sensitive to the effective Majorana mass in the inverted mass hierarchy region, a comparison of the derived ranges with measured half-lives will allow us to probe the standard seesaw mechanism assuming that future cosmological data will establish the sum of neutrino masses to be about 0.2 eV.
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