Double beta decay in xenon-136 : measuring the neutrino-emitting mode and searching for majoron-emitting modes

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Observations of neutrino flavor oscillations have demonstrated that neutrinos have mass. Since the discovery of these oscillations, much progress has been made at measuring the neutrino mass-squared differences and lepton mixing angles that characterize them. However, the origin and absolute scale of neutrino masses remain unknown. Unique among fermions, neutrinos can be Majorana particles, which could provide an explanation for neutrino masses. Discovery of a hypothetical process known as neutrinoless double beta decay would show that neutrinos are Majorana particles and determine the mass scale for neutrinos. The Enriched Xenon Observatory (EXO) is a series of experiments searching for the neutrinoless double beta decay of xenon-136. The first experiment, EXO-200, began operation in 2011 and makes use of 200 kg of xenon enriched to 80.6% in xenon-136. The analysis presented here makes use of data from EXO-200 to obtain a more precise measurement of the half-life for the two-neutrino-emitting mode of double beta decay than previously reported. The analysis also sets limits on the half-lives for exotic, Majoron-emitting modes of neutrinoless double beta decay. Data from EXO-200 is also used to produce a measurement of the cosmic muon flux at the WIPP underground site where EXO-200 is located.


Type of resource text
Form electronic; electronic resource; remote
Extent 1 online resource.
Publication date 2013
Issuance monographic
Language English


Associated with Herrin, Steven
Associated with Stanford University, Department of Physics.
Primary advisor Breidenbach, Martin
Thesis advisor Breidenbach, Martin
Thesis advisor Burchat, P. (Patricia)
Thesis advisor Roodman, Aaron J. (Aaron Jay), 1964-
Advisor Burchat, P. (Patricia)
Advisor Roodman, Aaron J. (Aaron Jay), 1964-


Genre Theses

Bibliographic information

Statement of responsibility Steven Herrin.
Note Submitted to the Department of Physics.
Thesis Thesis (Ph.D.)--Stanford University, 2013.
Location electronic resource

Access conditions

© 2013 by Steven M. Herrin
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial 3.0 Unported license (CC BY-NC).

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