Bonn 2010 – wissenschaftliches Programm
HK 13.1: Hauptvortrag
Dienstag, 16. März 2010, 08:30–09:00, HG X
Search for neutrino-less double beta decay — •Stefan Schoenert — Max Planck Institut fuer Kernphysik Heidelberg, Saupfercheckweg 1, 69115 Heidelberg, Germany
The search for neutrino-less double beta decay is the only practical way to test whether neutrinos are identical with their anti-particles, i.e. of Majorana type, or distinct from them, i.e. of Dirac type. The observation of neutrino-less double beta decay would not only establish the Majorana character of neutrinos, it would allow as well to determine the effective neutrino mass and to probe the mass hierarchy. The next generation of experiments aim to scrutinize the effective Majorana neutrino mass down to few tens of meV, as predicted by oscillation experiments in case of the inverse mass hierarchy. The sensitivity of the upcoming experiments depend primarily on the available mass of double beta isotopes and on the experimental conditions. In particular, the achievable background reduction in the energy region of interest and the detection efficiency will be decisive for their success. Following a brief introduction to the field, I will give an overview of the current experimental situation and will discuss at some detail the GERDA experiment, which is currently in its start-up phase at the Laboratory Nazionali del Gran Sasso (LNGS), Italy.