Topic of the Week: Neutrinoless Double Beta Decay with Barium Tagging in High Pressure Xenon Gas

Sunrise - WH11NE (Fermilab)

Sunrise - WH11NE


Javier Mauricio Duarte (Fermi National Accelerator Lab. (US)), Si Xie (California Institute of Technology (US))
The goal of future neutrinoless double beta decay experiments is to achieve sufficient sensitivity to establish the Majorana nature of the neutrino, probing decay rates substantially smaller than 10-27 per year.  Such a discovery would have major implications for cosmology and particle physics, but requires ton-scale detectors with backgrounds below 1 count per ton per year in the signal ROI.  This is a formidable technological challenge that has prompted consideration of unconventional solutions.  I will discuss an approach being developed within the NEXT collaboration: high pressure xenon gas time projection chambers augmented single molecule fluorescent imaging-based barium tagging. This combines techniques from the fields of biochemistry, super-resolution microscopy, organic synthesis and nuclear physics, possibly enabling the first effectively background-free, ton-scale neutrinoless double beta decay technology.