UHM Physics Department Colloquia

Neutrinoless double beta decay -- the last frontier of the Standard Model --

by Dr. Stephen Lars Olsen (Institute for Basic Science, Daejeon, Korea)

Thursday, 21 September 2017 from to (Pacific/Honolulu)
at Watanabe Hall ( 112 )
The discovery of the Higgs boson at the LHC in 2012 has often been characterized as “the completion of the Standard Model.” This description ignores huge gaps in our understanding of the neutrino sector:  i) it is still not known if neutrinos are Dirac particles with distinct antiparticles or if they are Majorana particles that are their own antiparticles; ii) it is not known whether or not the SM requires lepton number conservation; iii) neither the absolute scale nor the correct hierarchy of neutrino masses have yet been established; iv) CP violating neutrino-mixing phases, especially the possible Majorana phases, remain unexplored.  Measurements of neutrinoless double beta decays of certain even-even nuclei, while nearly impossibly difficult, provide (in principle) unique possibilities for addressing these issues.  In this talk I will review the un-understood features of neutrino physics and describe the experimental issues associated with addressing them via neutrinoless double-beta decay experiments. I will briefly describe the status of the AmoRE experiment, a new player in this business that is being pursued in South Korea.