University of Texas-Arlington, Physics Department
Abstract: The goal of future neutrinoless double beta decay experiments is to establish whether neutrino is its own antiparticle, by searching for an ultra-rare decay process with a half life that may be more than 10^28 years. Such a discovery would have major implications for cosmology and particle physics, but requires multi-ton-scale detectors with backgrounds below 0.1 counts per ton per year. This is a formidable technological challenge that seems likely to require unconventional solutions. In this talk I will discuss new technologies emerging at the interfaces between nuclear physics, microscopy, AMO physics, and biochemistry that aim to identify the single 136Ba daughter nucleus produced in double beta decays of the isotope 136Xe. If these atoms or ions can be collected and imaged with sufficiently high efficiency, the radiogenic backgrounds limiting the sensitivity of all existing technologies could be entirely mitigated. This would enable a new class of large scale, ultra-low background neutrinoless double beta decay experiments.
All lectures in Hill Hall 202 unless otherwise specified