27-31 August 2018
LVH, Luisenstraße 58, 10117 Berlin
Europe/Berlin timezone
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Contribution Talk

-3- Rudolf Virchow
Particle Physics

The search for neutrinoless double beta decay with a half-life beyond 10$^{26}$ yr with the GERDA experiment


  • Dr. Roman HILLER

Primary authors


Abstract content

The GERDA experiment searches for neutrinoless double beta decay of $^{76}$Ge. A discovery of this hypothetical decay would imply the Majorana nature of neutrinos and violation of lepton number conservation. To find this decay, with a half-life beyond 10$^{25}$ yr, gamma-ray spectrometers made from enriched $^{76}$Ge are operated directly immersed in liquid argon. Instrumenting the argon-filled cryostat with photosensors, scintillation light enables vetoing external background to push the background level below 10$^{-3}$ cts/(keV kg yr). Combined with the high energy resolution of germanium detectors, the sensitivity of GERDA will not be limited by background beyond an exposure of 100 kg yr. With a major data release this year, the exposure has now reached almost 60 kg yr, making GERDA the first experiment in the field to reach a half-life sensitivity of 10$^{26}$ yr. We will present the latest results of GERDA in the search for neutrinoless double beta decay.