TNT Colloquium: Quantifying new contributions to neutrinoless double beta decay from lattice QCD [Duke]

Tuesday, April 10, 2018 - 3:30pm

Speaker(s): 
Amy Nicholson (UNC)

While the discovery of non-zero neutrino masses is among the most importantaccomplishments by physicists in the past century, it is still unknown how andin what form these masses arise. Lepton number-violating neutrinoless doublebeta decay is a natural consequence of Majorana neutrinos and many BSM theories,and, if observed, could potentially explain the matter/anti-matter asymmetry inthe universe. Several experimental searches for these processes using nuclearsources are planned and/or underway worldwide, and understanding quantitativelyhow neutrinoless double beta decay would manifest in nuclear environments is keyfor interpreting any observed signals. Estimates for the necessary size andsensitivity of these experiments rely on model calculations involving only asingle mechanism for the decay, light Majorana neutrino exchange. However, it isexpected that new heavy, beyond the Standard Model particles will alsocontribute to this process, and these contributions have been previously unknowneven at the two nucleon level. In this talk I will give an overviewof microscopic observables relevant for experimental searchesfor neutrinoless double beta decay which may be calculated directly from QCDusing lattice methods, and present new results for potential short-rangemechanisms.

Physics 298

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