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Double beta decay

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We review the recent developments in the field of nuclear double beta decay, which is presently an important topic in both nuclear and particle physics. The mechanism of lepton number violation within the neutrinoless double beta decay (-decay) is discussed in the context of the problem of neutrino mixing and the R-parity violating supersymmetric extensions of the standard model. The problem of reliable determination of the nuclear matrix elements governing both two-neutrino and neutrinoless modes of the double beta decay is addressed. The validity of different approximation schemes in the considered nuclear structure studies is analysed and the role of the Pauli exclusion principle for a correct treatment of nuclear matrix elements is emphasized. The constraints on different lepton-number violating parameters such as effective electron neutrino mass, effective right-handed weak interaction parameters, effective Majoron coupling constant and R-parity violating SUSY parameters are derived from the best presently available experimental limits on the half-life of -decay.

Document Type: Miscellaneous

Affiliations: 1: Institute für Theoretische Physik der Universität Tübingen Auf der Morgenstelle 14, D-72076 Tübingen, Germany 2: Department of Nuclear Physics, Comenius University, Mlynská dol., pav. F1, SK-842 15 Bratislava, Slovakia

Publication date: December 1, 1998


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