"Landscape without neutrinos"

Who: Juan Jose Gomez Cadenas, Instituto de Fisica Corpuscular CSIC-UV

Place: Donostia International Physics Center (DIPC).Paseo Manuel de Lardizabal, 4, Donostia

Date: Friday, 30 January 2015, 12:00

The universe is made almost exclusively by matter. This is in contradiction, not only with the Big Bang paradigm, that predicts equals amounts of matter and antimatter, but with all our experimental observations, notably the observation of symmetric production of matter and antimatter in collider experiments. A universe made of matter, on the other hand, could be implemented by introducing in the early universe Majorana, CP violating particles, e.g, particles capable of decaying both to matter and antimatter, but slightly favouring the first type of decays.

Indeed, neutrinos could be those Majorana particles. Establishing experimentally it this is the case has became, over the last decade, one of the most active and technologically refined branches of non-accelerator particle physics. In 2015, half a dozen of experiments searching for the unmistakable signature of Majorana neutrinos (the observation of neutrinoless double beta decay in a selected number of isotopes) are either running or preparing to take data. This selected group includes the NEXT experiment, currently starting operation at the Canfranc Underground Laboratory in Spain. 

This talk will summarise  the state of the art, describing, in particular the NEXT experiment. Then I will sketch the future of the field. Ultimately, discovering the Majorana nature of the neutrino may need a radical innovation in the instrumentation currently being used. I will present an example of such revolutionary techniques, specifically the possibility of tagging, through resonant excitation with suitable lasers, the single Barium isotope produced by the neutrinoless double beta decay of xenon.

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