Neutrino-less double-beta decay and WIMPs: Will the search converge?

It is energetically possible and theoretically permissible for certain isotopes to undergo a double beta-decay with the simultaneous emission of two neutrinos, and this mode has been observed. The more interesting possibility of neutrino-less double beta decay is also permitted if the neutrino is its own anti-particle, and also possesses non-zero mass. No convincing evidence for the 0-ν mode exists. However, with solid evidence for non-zero mass from oscillation results, motivation to mount major new searches, at the scale of 100+ kg, has increased greatly, and in particular, with xenon. Meanwhile, the search for direct detection of WIMPs has also reached a similar scale with xenon and other liquid noble gases. Why haven’t groups combined their efforts? I will provide a quick review these two fields, indicating some of the parallelism of effort, the new challenges, and show how it may be possible to construct a single detector with attractive capabilities for both searches.


Slides (PDF)