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Neutrinoless double beta decay, the LEGEND collaboration, and liquid argon research with BACon

Tuesday May 1, 2018
2:00 pm

 Presenter:  Neil McFadden (UNM)
 Series:  Nuclear, Particle, Astroparticle and Cosmology (NUPAC) Seminars
 Abstract:  Searches for neutrinoless double-β (0νββ) decay test the Majorana nature of the neutrino. The observation of this process would imply that total lepton number is violated and that neutrinos are Majorana particles. A measurement of the 0νββ decay rate may also yield information on the absolute neutrino mass. In order to probe the neutrino’s inverted mass hierarchy and longer neutrinoless double beta decay half-lives, larger detectors will need to be built. The LEGEND collaboration aims to increase the sensitivities for 76Ge in a first phase to 1027 yr and in a second phase up to 1028 yr both for setting a 90% C.L. half-life limit as well as for “discovery” of 0νββ decay defined as a 50% chance for a signal at 3σ significance.
In order to reach these long half-lives, novel new techniques in background reduction must be explored. I will be presenting our results for our liquid argon test stand, BACon. BACon is a 100 liter liquid argon cryostat instrumented with two photomultiplier tubes. We are using BACon to investigate techniques to increase light yield for active veto shielding that will be used for LEGEND. We have successfully measured the light yield and purity of our argon as an initial step towards improving the active veto shielding scheme.
 Host:  Dinesh Loomba
 Location:  Room 190, Physics & Astronomy

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