Probing the Nature of Neutrinos with Double Beta Decay
(University of Illinois)
Understanding fundamental properties of neutrinos is of compelling interest to the nuclear and particle physics community. The discovery of neutrino oscillations is one of our first hints of physics beyond the Standard Model. Searching for neutrinoless double decay can provide key insights into the neutrino mass generation mechanism and put stringent constraints on the absolute neutrino mass scale. Such a rare decay, if exists, would signify the Majorana nature of neutrinos and the non-conservation of lepton number.
In the past decade, large ultra-low background liquid xenon detectors have emerged as a promising technology that can push the neutrinoless double beta decay search to unprecedented sensitivity. In this talk I will describe recent results and prospects of current generation experiment EXO-200, as well as the R&D program for future tonne scale detector nEXO.