The Majorana neutrinoless double beta-decay experiment

The Majorana experiment will search for neutrinoless double-beta decay of 76Ge. The discovery of this process would imply that the neutrino is a Majorana fermion (its own anti-particle) and allow a measurement of the effective Majorana neutrino mass.

The first stage of the experiment, the Majorana Demonstrator, will consist of 60kg of germanium crystal detectors in three cryostats. Half of these will be made from natural germanium and half from germanium enriched in 76Ge. The goals of the Demonstrator are to test a claim for measurement of neutrinoless double beta-decay by Klapdor-Kleingrothaus et al. (2006), to demonstrate a low enough background to justify the construction of a larger tonne-scale experiment, and to demonstrate the scalability of the technology to the tonne scale. The experiment will be located at the 4850 ft level of the Sanford Laboratory in Lead, South Dakota.

Majorana uses high-purity p-type point contact detectors which are intrinsically low background, have excellent energy resolution and low thresholds, and allow sophisticated event reconstruction. The LBNL and UC Berkeley groups are involved in the development of the electronics (from front-end to digitization), detector integration, cryostat design, detector simulation and data analysis.


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