Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Physics Division

Physics Division Seminars

Physics Division Seminars bring us speakers on a variety of physics related subjects. Usually these are held in the Building 6008 large Conference Room, at 3:00 pm on the chosen day, but times and locations may vary. For more information, contact our seminar chairman,

Alfredo Galindo-Uribarri
Tel (Office): (865) 574-6124  (FAX): (865) 574-1268


Thu., November 03, 2011, at 3:00 p.m. (refreshments at 2:40 p.m.)

Search for neutrinoless double-beta decay with the GERDA experiment

Fabiana Cossavella, Max-Planck-Institut fuer Physik, Munich, Germany
Building 6008 Conference Room

The Germanium Detector Array (GERDA) experiment searches for neutrinoless double-beta decay of 76Ge, a test of whether neutrinos are identical with their antiparticles, i.e., of Majorana type, or distinct from them, i.e., of Dirac type. Neutrinoless double-beta decay could not only establish the charge-conjugation character of neutrinos, but also place a limit on the effective neutrino mass and probe the neutrino mass hierarchy.

Germanium crystals enriched in 76Ge, acting as source and detector, will be submerged in an ultrapure cryogenic liquid that serves as cooling medium and shields against radiation. This allows for a background reduction of up to two orders of magnitude better than earlier experiments.

GERDA started the technical runs in 2010 with a pilot string of three nonenriched Ge detectors. The results from the first year of data taking will be presented.