Search for two-neutrino double- β decay of Zr 96 to excited states of Mo 96


Journal Article

© 2015 American Physical Society. Background: Double-β decay is a rare second-order nuclear decay. The importance of this decay stems from the possibility of neutrinoless double-β decay and its applications to neutrino physics. Purpose: A search was conducted for the 2νββ decay of Zr96 to excited final states of the daughter nucleus, Mo96. Measurements of this decay are important to test nuclear matrix element calculations, which are necessary to extract the neutrino mass from a measurement of the neutrinoless double-β decay half-life. Method: Two coaxial high-purity germanium detectors were used in coincidence to detect γ rays produced by the daughter nucleus as it de-excited to the ground state. The experiment was carried out at the Kimballton Underground Research Facility and produced 685.7 d of data with a 17.91 g enriched sample. Results: No counts were seen above background. For the decay to the first excited 0+ state, a limit of T1/2>3.1×1020 yr was produced. Limits to higher excited states are also reported. Conclusion: The new limits on double-β decay are an improvement over previous experiments by a factor of 2 to 5 for the various excited states. The nuclear matrix element for the double-β decay to the first excited 0+ state is found to be <0.13.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Finch, SW; Tornow, W

Published Date

  • October 8, 2015

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 92 / 4

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1089-490X

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0556-2813

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1103/PhysRevC.92.045501

Citation Source

  • Scopus