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Journal Article

To be or not to be? - First evidence for neutrinoless double-beta decay


Klapdor-Kleingrothaus,  H. V.
Prof. Dirk Schwalm, Emeriti, MPI for Nuclear Physics, Max Planck Society;

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Klapdor-Kleingrothaus, H. V. (2003). To be or not to be? - First evidence for neutrinoless double-beta decay. International Journal of Modern Physics A., 18 (22), 4113-4128.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0011-81BD-1
Double beta decay is indispensable to solve the question of the neutrino mass matrix together with v oscillation experiments. Recent analysis of the most sensitive experiment since nine years - the HEIDELBERG-MOSCOW experiment in Gran-Sasso - yields a first indication for the neutrinoless decay mode. This result is the first evidence for lepton number violation and proves the neutrino to be a Majorana particle. We give the present status of the analysis in this report. It excludes several of the neutrino mass scenarios allowed from present neutrino oscillation experiments - only degenerate scenarios and those with inverse mass hierarchy survive. This result allows neutrinos to still play an important role as dark matter in the Universe. To improve the accuracy of the present result, considerably enlarged experiments are required, such as GENIUS. A GENIUS Test Facility has been funded and will come into operation by early 2003.