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Science. 2019 Sep 27;365(6460):1445-1448. doi: 10.1126/science.aav8613. Epub 2019 Sep 5.

Probing Majorana neutrinos with double-β decay.

Agostini M1, Bakalyarov AM2, Balata M3, Barabanov I4, Baudis L5, Bauer C6, Bellotti E7,8, Belogurov S4,9, Bettini A10,11, Bezrukov L4, Borowicz D12, Brudanin V12, Brugnera R10,11, Caldwell A13, Cattadori C8, Chernogorov A9, Comellato T1, D'Andrea V14, Demidova EV9, Di Marco N3, Domula A15, Doroshkevich E4, Egorov V12, Falkenstein R16, Fomina M12, Gangapshev A4, Garfagnini A10,11, Giordano M14, Grabmayr P16, Gurentsov V4, Gusev K1,2,12, Hakenmüller J6, Hegai A16, Heisel M6, Hemmer S11, Hiller R5, Hofmann W6, Hult M17, Inzhechik LV4, Janicskó Csáthy J1, Jochum J16, Junker M3, Kazalov V4, Kermaïdic Y6, Kihm T6, Kirpichnikov IV9, Kirsch A6, Kish A5, Klimenko A6,12, Kneißl R13, Knöpfle KT18, Kochetov O12, Kornoukhov VN4,9, Krause P1, Kuzminov VV4, Laubenstein M3, Lazzaro A1, Lindner M6, Lippi I11, Lubashevskiy A12, Lubsandorzhiev B4, Lutter G17, Macolino C3, Majorovits B13, Maneschg W6, Miloradovic M5, Mingazheva R5, Misiaszek M19, Moseev P4, Nemchenok I12, Panas K19, Pandola L20, Pelczar K3, Pertoldi L10,11, Piseri P21, Pullia A21, Ransom C5, Riboldi S21, Rumyantseva N2,12, Sada C10,11, Sala E13, Salamida F14, Schmitt C16, Schneider B15, Schönert S1, Schütz AK16, Schulz O13, Schwarz M1, Schwingenheuer B6, Selivanenko O4, Shevchik E12, Shirchenko M12, Simgen H6, Smolnikov A6,12, Stanco L11, Stukov D2, Vanhoefer L13, Vasenko AA9, Veresnikova A4, von Sturm K10,11, Wagner V6, Wegmann A6, Wester T15, Wiesinger C1, Wojcik M19, Yanovich E4, Zhitnikov I12, Zhukov SV2, Zinatulina D12, Zschocke A16, Zsigmond AJ13, Zuber K15, Zuzel G19; GERDA Collaboration.

Author information

1
Physik Department, Technische Universität München, D-85748 Munich, Germany.
2
National Research Centre "Kurchatov Institute," Moscow 123182, Russia.
3
INFN Laboratori Nazionali del Gran Sasso and Gran Sasso Science Institute, I-67100 Assergi, Italy.
4
Institute for Nuclear Research of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow 117312, Russia.
5
Physik Institut der Universität Zürich, CH-8057 Zurich, Switzerland.
6
Max-Planck-Institut für Kernphysik, D-69117 Heidelberg, Germany.
7
Dipartimento di Fisica, Università Milano Bicocca, I-20126 Milan, Italy.
8
INFN Milano Bicocca, I-20126 Milan, Italy.
9
Institute for Theoretical and Experimental Physics, Moscow 117259, Russia.
10
Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia dell'Università di Padova, I-35121 Padua, Italy.
11
INFN Padova, I-35131 Padua, Italy.
12
Joint Institute for Nuclear Research, Dubna 141980, Russia.
13
Max-Planck-Institut für Physik, D-80805 Munich, Germany.
14
INFN Laboratori Nazionali del Gran Sasso and Università degli Studi dell'Aquila, I-67100 L'Aquila, Italy.
15
Institut für Kern- und Teilchenphysik, Technische Universität Dresden, D-01069 Dresden, Germany.
16
Physikalisches Institut, Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen, D-72076 Tübingen, Germany.
17
European Commission, JRC-Geel, B-2440 Geel, Belgium.
18
Max-Planck-Institut für Kernphysik, D-69117 Heidelberg, Germany. gerda-eb@mpi-hd.mpg.de.
19
Institute of Physics, Jagiellonian University, Cracow 40-348, Poland.
20
INFN Laboratori Nazionali del Sud, I-95123 Catania, Italy.
21
Dipartimento di Fisica, Università degli Studi di Milano e INFN Milano, I-20133 Milan, Italy.

Abstract

A discovery that neutrinos are Majorana fermions would have profound implications for particle physics and cosmology. The Majorana character of neutrinos would make possible the neutrinoless double-β (0νββ) decay, a matter-creating process without the balancing emission of antimatter. The GERDA Collaboration searches for the 0νββ decay of 76Ge by operating bare germanium detectors in an active liquid argon shield. With a total exposure of 82.4 kg⋅year, we observe no signal and derive a lower half-life limit of T 1/2 > 0.9 × 1026 years (90% C.L.). Our T 1/2 sensitivity, assuming no signal, is 1.1 × 1026 years. Combining the latter with those from other 0νββ decay searches yields a sensitivity to the effective Majorana neutrino mass of 0.07 to 0.16 electron volts.

PMID:
31488705
DOI:
10.1126/science.aav8613

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