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Journal Article

Neutrinoless Double-Electron Capture


Blaum,  K.
Division Prof. Dr. Klaus Blaum, MPI for Nuclear Physics, Max Planck Society;


Eliseev,  S.
Division Prof. Dr. Klaus Blaum, MPI for Nuclear Physics, Max Planck Society;

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Blaum, K., Eliseev, S., Danevich, F. A., Tretyak, V. I., Kovalenko, S., Krivoruchenko, M. I., et al. (2020). Neutrinoless Double-Electron Capture. Reviews of Modern Physics, 92(4): 045007. doi:10.1103/RevModPhys.92.045007.

Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0007-9A7A-3
Double-beta processes play a key role in the exploration of neutrino and weak interaction properties, and in the searches for effects beyond the Standard Model. During the last half century many attempts were undertaken to search for double-beta decay with emission of two electrons, especially for its neutrinoless mode ($0\nu2\beta^-$), the latter being still not observed. Double-electron capture (2EC) was not in focus so far because of its in general lower transition probability. However, the rate of neutrinoless double-electron capture ($0\nu2$EC) can experience a resonance enhancement by many orders of magnitude in case the initial and final states are energetically degenerate. In the resonant case, the sensitivity of the $0\nu2$EC process can approach the sensitivity of the $0\nu2\beta^-$ decay in the search for the Majorana mass of neutrinos, right-handed currents, and other new physics. We present an overview of the main experimental and theoretical results obtained during the last decade in this field. The experimental part outlines search results of 2EC processes and measurements of the decay energies for possible resonant $0\nu$2EC transitions. An unprecedented precision in the determination of decay energies with Penning traps has allowed one to refine the values of the degeneracy parameter for all previously known near-resonant decays and has reduced the rather large uncertainties in the estimate of the $0\nu2$EC half-lives. The theoretical part contains an updated analysis of the electron shell effects and an overview of the nuclear structure models, in which the nuclear matrix elements of the $0\nu2$EC decays are calculated. One can conclude that the decay probability of $0\nu$2EC can experience a significant enhancement in several nuclides.