Nuclear physics insights for new-physics searches using nuclei: Neutrinoless ββ decay and dark matter direct detection
Department of Physics, The University of Tokyo, Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan
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Published online: 22 March 2017
Experiments using nuclei to probe new physics beyond the Standard Model, such as neutrinoless ββ decay searches testing whether neutrinos are their own antiparticle, and direct detection experiments aiming to identify the nature of dark matter, require accurate nuclear physics input for optimizing their discovery potential and for a correct interpretation of their results. This demands a detailed knowledge of the nuclear structure relevant for these processes. For instance, neutrinoless ββ decay nuclear matrix elements are very sensitive to the nuclear correlations in the initial and final nuclei, and the spin-dependent nuclear structure factors of dark matter scattering depend on the subtle distribution of the nuclear spin among all nucleons. In addition, nucleons are composite and strongly interacting, which implies that many-nucleon processes are necessary for a correct description of nuclei and their interactions. It is thus crucial that theoretical studies and experimental analyses consider β decays and dark matter interactions with a coupling to two nucleons, called two-nucleon currents.
© The Authors, published by EDP Sciences, 2017
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