Back to the Salt Mines: The Search for Neutrinoless Double Beta Decay in Xe-136
Neutrinos are all around us, yet many of their properties remain a mystery. The study of neutrinoless double beta decay can shed light on the properties of neutrino mass and whether or not the neutrino is its own anti-particle. In addition, because neutrinoless double beta decay violates lepton number conservation, its discovery would lead the way to physics beyond the Standard Model.
The Enriched Xenon Observatory (EXO) program is aimed at searching for this decay in Xe-136. I will discuss the current status of double beta decay with special emphasis on recent results from EXO-200 which has made the most precise measurement of the two-neutrino double beta decay of any isotope and has placed one of the most stringent limits on the absolute neutrino mass to date.