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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Alexis Schubert

Physics Department
University of Washington

The MAJORANA DEMONSTRATOR: Searching for neutrinoless double-beta decay of germanium-76 in the presence of backgrounds

Abstract: The observation of neutrinoless double-beta decay would determine whether the neutrino is a Majorana particle, demonstrate violation of lepton number, and provide information about neutrino mass. The MAJORANA Collaboration will search for this decay in germanium detectors enriched to 86% in 76-Ge.

MAJORANA is constructing the DEMONSTRATOR, a 40-kg detector array, at the Sanford Underground Research Facility in Lead, South Dakota. The physics reach of the DEMONSTRATOR will be determined by the background count rate in a 4-keV region surrounding the 2039-keV beta decay endpoint of 76-Ge. Projections of the DEMONSTRATOR's sensitivity are based on an energy-spectrum model created from material assay data and Monte Carlo simulations.

MAJORANA Collaborators installed a prototype detector at the Kimballton Underground Research Facility in Ripplemeade, Virginia. Energy spectra measured with this detector were compared to background model predictions. This talk will describe the status of the DEMONSTRATOR and show how the background model was used to identify contaminated material within the cryostat of the prototype detector.

Bio: Not Available

Time: 4:00pm – 5:30pm

Location: Physics and Astrophysics Conference Room 102/103

Light refreshments available 4:00pm; Presentation begiins 4:15pm

Open to All