News & Events

HEPL / KIPAC Seminar

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Giovanni Bennato

GERDA Collaboration—Department of Physics University of California, Berkeley

“Discovery Probability of Next-generation Neutrinoless Double-beta Decay Experiments”

Abstract: An extensive international experimental effort is being made to search for 0νββ decay with the main goals of testing total lepton number conservation and probing the Dirac or Majorana nature of neutrinos. To focus the design and comparison of technologically different experiments, we propose a new method for the computation of the discovery sensitivity based on a heuristic counting analysis and on the characterization of each experiments with just two parameters: a sensitive exposure and a sensitive background.

In order to help define the goals of the 0νββ decay scientific community, we compute the Bayesian discovery probability under the hypothesis than neutrinos are their own antiparticles and under different assumptions on the neutrino mass hierarchy. In the absence of neutrino mass mechanisms that drive the lightest neutrino mass or the effective Majorana mass to zero, the discovery probability is found to be higher than previously considered.

For the inverted ordering, next-generation experiments are likely to observe a signal already during their first operational stages. Even for the normal ordering, the probability of discovering neutrinoless 0νββ decay can reach ∼ 50% or more in the most promising experiments.

Time: 4:00pm – 5:00pm

Location: Physics/Astrophysics Bldg., Kistler Conference Rooms 102/103 (Map)

(Light refreshments available 3:45pm; Presentation begins at 4:00pm)

Open to All