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Journal Article

Ultralow Q values for neutrino mass measurements


Kopp,  Joachim
Division Prof. Dr. Manfred Lindner, MPI for Nuclear Physics, Max Planck Society;


Merle,  Alexander
Division Prof. Dr. Manfred Lindner, MPI for Nuclear Physics, Max Planck Society;

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Kopp, J., & Merle, A. (2010). Ultralow Q values for neutrino mass measurements. Physical Review C, 81(4): 045501, pp. 1-5. doi:10.1103/PhysRevC.81.045501.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0011-71C0-3
We investigate weak nuclear decays with extremely small kinetic energy release (Q value) and thus extremely good sensitivity to the absolute neutrino mass scale. In particular, we consider decays into excited daughter states, and we show that partial ionization of the parent atom can help to tune Q values to << 1 keV. We discuss several candidate isotopes undergoing beta+, beta-, bound state beta, or electron capture decay, and come to the conclusion that a neutrino mass measurement using low-Q decays might only be feasible if no ionization is required, and if future improvements in isotope production technology, nuclear mass spectroscopy, and atomic structure calculations are possible. Experiments using ions, however, are extremely challenging due to the large number of ions that must be stored. New precision data on nuclear excitation levels could help to identify further isotopes with low-Q decay modes and possibly less challenging requirements.