Observation of two-neutrino double electron capture in 124 Xe with XENON1T

XENON Collaboration*

    Research output: Contribution to journalLetter

    Abstract

    Two-neutrino double electron capture (2?ECEC) is a second-order weak-interaction process with a predicted half-life that surpasses the age of the Universe by many orders of magnitude 1 . Until now, indications of 2?ECEC decays have only been seen for two isotopes 2–5 , 78 Kr and 130 Ba, and instruments with very low background levels are needed to detect them directly with high statistical significance 6,7 . The 2?ECEC half-life is an important observable for nuclear structure models 8–14 and its measurement represents a meaningful step in the search for neutrinoless double electron capture—the detection of which would establish the Majorana nature of the neutrino and would give access to the absolute neutrino mass 15–17 . Here we report the direct observation of 2?ECEC in 124 Xe with the XENON1T dark-matter detector. The significance of the signal is 4.4 standard deviations and the corresponding half-life of 1.8 × 10 22  years (statistical uncertainty, 0.5 × 10 22  years; systematic uncertainty, 0.1 × 10 22  years) is the longest measured directly so far. This study demonstrates that the low background and large target mass of xenon-based dark-matter detectors make them well suited for measuring rare processes and highlights the broad physics reach of larger next-generation experiments 18–20 .

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)532-535
    Number of pages4
    JournalNature
    Volume568
    Issue number7753
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Apr 25 2019

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    Half-Life
    Observation
    Electrons
    Uncertainty
    Xenon
    Physics
    Isotopes

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • General

    Cite this

    Observation of two-neutrino double electron capture in 124 Xe with XENON1T . / XENON Collaboration*.

    In: Nature, Vol. 568, No. 7753, 25.04.2019, p. 532-535.

    Research output: Contribution to journalLetter

    XENON Collaboration*. / Observation of two-neutrino double electron capture in 124 Xe with XENON1T In: Nature. 2019 ; Vol. 568, No. 7753. pp. 532-535.
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    title = "Observation of two-neutrino double electron capture in 124 Xe with XENON1T",
    abstract = "Two-neutrino double electron capture (2?ECEC) is a second-order weak-interaction process with a predicted half-life that surpasses the age of the Universe by many orders of magnitude 1 . Until now, indications of 2?ECEC decays have only been seen for two isotopes 2–5 , 78 Kr and 130 Ba, and instruments with very low background levels are needed to detect them directly with high statistical significance 6,7 . The 2?ECEC half-life is an important observable for nuclear structure models 8–14 and its measurement represents a meaningful step in the search for neutrinoless double electron capture—the detection of which would establish the Majorana nature of the neutrino and would give access to the absolute neutrino mass 15–17 . Here we report the direct observation of 2?ECEC in 124 Xe with the XENON1T dark-matter detector. The significance of the signal is 4.4 standard deviations and the corresponding half-life of 1.8 × 10 22  years (statistical uncertainty, 0.5 × 10 22  years; systematic uncertainty, 0.1 × 10 22  years) is the longest measured directly so far. This study demonstrates that the low background and large target mass of xenon-based dark-matter detectors make them well suited for measuring rare processes and highlights the broad physics reach of larger next-generation experiments 18–20 .",
    author = "{XENON Collaboration*} and E. Aprile and J. Aalbers and F. Agostini and M. Alfonsi and L. Althueser and Amaro, {F. D.} and M. Anthony and Antochi, {V. C.} and Francesco Arneodo and L. Baudis and B. Bauermeister and Benabderrahmane, {M. L.} and T. Berger and Breur, {P. A.} and A. Brown and A. Brown and E. Brown and S. Bruenner and G. Bruno and R. Budnik and C. Capelli and Cardoso, {J. M.R.} and D. Cichon and D. Coderre and Colijn, {A. P.} and J. Conrad and Cussonneau, {J. P.} and Decowski, {M. P.} and {de Perio}, P. and {Di Gangi}, P. and {Di Giovanni}, A. and S. Diglio and A. Elykov and G. Eurin and J. Fei and Ferella, {A. D.} and A. Fieguth and W. Fulgione and Rosso, {A. Gallo} and M. Galloway and F. Gao and M. Garbini and L. Grandi and Z. Greene and C. Hasterok and E. Hogenbirk and J. Howlett and M. Iacovacci and R. Itay and F. Joerg",
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    T1 - Observation of two-neutrino double electron capture in 124 Xe with XENON1T

    AU - XENON Collaboration

    AU - Aprile, E.

    AU - Aalbers, J.

    AU - Agostini, F.

    AU - Alfonsi, M.

    AU - Althueser, L.

    AU - Amaro, F. D.

    AU - Anthony, M.

    AU - Antochi, V. C.

    AU - Arneodo, Francesco

    AU - Baudis, L.

    AU - Bauermeister, B.

    AU - Benabderrahmane, M. L.

    AU - Berger, T.

    AU - Breur, P. A.

    AU - Brown, A.

    AU - Brown, A.

    AU - Brown, E.

    AU - Bruenner, S.

    AU - Bruno, G.

    AU - Budnik, R.

    AU - Capelli, C.

    AU - Cardoso, J. M.R.

    AU - Cichon, D.

    AU - Coderre, D.

    AU - Colijn, A. P.

    AU - Conrad, J.

    AU - Cussonneau, J. P.

    AU - Decowski, M. P.

    AU - de Perio, P.

    AU - Di Gangi, P.

    AU - Di Giovanni, A.

    AU - Diglio, S.

    AU - Elykov, A.

    AU - Eurin, G.

    AU - Fei, J.

    AU - Ferella, A. D.

    AU - Fieguth, A.

    AU - Fulgione, W.

    AU - Rosso, A. Gallo

    AU - Galloway, M.

    AU - Gao, F.

    AU - Garbini, M.

    AU - Grandi, L.

    AU - Greene, Z.

    AU - Hasterok, C.

    AU - Hogenbirk, E.

    AU - Howlett, J.

    AU - Iacovacci, M.

    AU - Itay, R.

    AU - Joerg, F.

    PY - 2019/4/25

    Y1 - 2019/4/25

    N2 - Two-neutrino double electron capture (2?ECEC) is a second-order weak-interaction process with a predicted half-life that surpasses the age of the Universe by many orders of magnitude 1 . Until now, indications of 2?ECEC decays have only been seen for two isotopes 2–5 , 78 Kr and 130 Ba, and instruments with very low background levels are needed to detect them directly with high statistical significance 6,7 . The 2?ECEC half-life is an important observable for nuclear structure models 8–14 and its measurement represents a meaningful step in the search for neutrinoless double electron capture—the detection of which would establish the Majorana nature of the neutrino and would give access to the absolute neutrino mass 15–17 . Here we report the direct observation of 2?ECEC in 124 Xe with the XENON1T dark-matter detector. The significance of the signal is 4.4 standard deviations and the corresponding half-life of 1.8 × 10 22  years (statistical uncertainty, 0.5 × 10 22  years; systematic uncertainty, 0.1 × 10 22  years) is the longest measured directly so far. This study demonstrates that the low background and large target mass of xenon-based dark-matter detectors make them well suited for measuring rare processes and highlights the broad physics reach of larger next-generation experiments 18–20 .

    AB - Two-neutrino double electron capture (2?ECEC) is a second-order weak-interaction process with a predicted half-life that surpasses the age of the Universe by many orders of magnitude 1 . Until now, indications of 2?ECEC decays have only been seen for two isotopes 2–5 , 78 Kr and 130 Ba, and instruments with very low background levels are needed to detect them directly with high statistical significance 6,7 . The 2?ECEC half-life is an important observable for nuclear structure models 8–14 and its measurement represents a meaningful step in the search for neutrinoless double electron capture—the detection of which would establish the Majorana nature of the neutrino and would give access to the absolute neutrino mass 15–17 . Here we report the direct observation of 2?ECEC in 124 Xe with the XENON1T dark-matter detector. The significance of the signal is 4.4 standard deviations and the corresponding half-life of 1.8 × 10 22  years (statistical uncertainty, 0.5 × 10 22  years; systematic uncertainty, 0.1 × 10 22  years) is the longest measured directly so far. This study demonstrates that the low background and large target mass of xenon-based dark-matter detectors make them well suited for measuring rare processes and highlights the broad physics reach of larger next-generation experiments 18–20 .

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    U2 - 10.1038/s41586-019-1124-4

    DO - 10.1038/s41586-019-1124-4

    M3 - Letter

    VL - 568

    SP - 532

    EP - 535

    JO - Nature

    JF - Nature

    SN - 0028-0836

    IS - 7753

    ER -