BNL Physics Colloquia

Searching for the Creation of Matter (Without Antimatter!) in the Laboratory

by Prof. Jason Detwiler (Univ. of Washington)


This talk will report on the substantial progress made over the last ~2 decades on both experimental and theoretical fronts in the global enterprise to search for neutrinoless double-beta decay, a hypothetical ultra-rare nuclear process in which matter (two new electrons) is created without any antimatter, as is predicted generically by many Standard Model extensions. This progress has culminated in the mounting of experiments with the capability of identifying a single decaying nucleus in the midst of tens to hundreds of kg of detector material or more, reaching half-life sensitivities on the order of 10^18 times the age of the universe. Such sensitivity gives very exciting prospects for discovery in the coming round of experimental searches.

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