The Physics of Neutrinoless Double Beta Decay: A Beginners Guide
September 22, 2021
Neutrinoless double beta decay is a hypothetical radioactive process which, if observed, would prove the neutrino to be a Majorana fermion: a particle that is its own antiparticle. In this lecture mini-series I discuss the physics of Majorana fermions and the connection between the nature of neutrino mass and neutrinoless double beta decay. We review Dirac and Majorana spinors, discuss methods of distinguishing between Majorana and Dirac fermions, and derive in outline the connection between neutrino mass and double beta decay rates. We conclude by briefly summarizing the experimental landscape and the challenges associated with searches for this elusive process.
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