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TNT Colloquium: Quantifying new contributions to neutrinoless double beta decay from lattice QCD [Duke]

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Tuesday, April 10, 2018
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3:30 pm - 4:30 pm
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Amy Nicholson (UNC)
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Triangle Nuclear Theory Colloquium

While the discovery of non-zero neutrino masses is among the most important
accomplishments by physicists in the past century, it is still unknown how and
in what form these masses arise. Lepton number-violating neutrinoless double
beta decay is a natural consequence of Majorana neutrinos and many BSM theories,
and, if observed, could potentially explain the matter/anti-matter asymmetry in
the universe. Several experimental searches for these processes using nuclear
sources are planned and/or underway worldwide, and understanding quantitatively
how neutrinoless double beta decay would manifest in nuclear environments is key
for interpreting any observed signals. Estimates for the necessary size and
sensitivity of these experiments rely on model calculations involving only a
single mechanism for the decay, light Majorana neutrino exchange. However, it is
expected that new heavy, beyond the Standard Model particles will also
contribute to this process, and these contributions have been previously unknown
even at the two nucleon level. In this talk I will give an overview
of microscopic observables relevant for experimental searches
for neutrinoless double beta decay which may be calculated directly from QCD
using lattice methods, and present new results for potential short-range
mechanisms.

Contact: Jennifer Solis