Paris, 19 June 2014

NEMO closes in on neutrino mass

The NEMO (Neutrino Ettore Majorana Observatory) experiment, whose goal was to elucidate the nature of neutrinos and measure their mass, yielded very positive results. The product of an extensive international collaboration including seven CNRS joint laboratories1, the detector, installed in the Modane Underground Laboratory (CNRS/CEA) in the Fréjus road tunnel, ran from 2003 to 2011. The observation, in seven different isotopes, of an extremely rare radioactive decay event, the so-called 'allowed' double-beta decay, helped improve our understanding of the atomic nucleus. In addition, the data collected during the search for the so-called 'forbidden' double-beta decay enabled the researchers to establish a range (0.3-0.9 eV) for the upper limit on the mass of the neutrino. These findings, just published in the journal Physical Review D shed new light on neutrino physics and cosmological models. The technology chosen for NEMO opens the way for the SuperNEMO detector, which will be 100 times as sensitive and may even be able to detect so-called 'forbidden' double-beta decay, which would usher in a new era in physics.

To download the press release: Press release_NEMO_2014





(1) List of the laboratories detailed in the press release


Search for Neutrinoless Double-Beta Decay of 100Mo with the NEMO-3 Detector ; R. Arnold, C. Augier, J.D. Baker, A.S. Barabash, A. Basharina-Freshville, S. Blondel, S. Blot, M. Bongrand, V. Brudanin, J. Busto, A.J. Carey, C. Cerna, A. Chapon, E. Chauveau, D. Duchesneau, D. Durand, V. Egorov, G. Eurin, J.J. Evans, R. Flack, X. Garrido, H. Gomez, B. Guillon, P. Guzowski, R. Hodak, P. Hubert, C. Hugon, S. Jullian, A. Klimenko, O. Kochetov, S.I. Konovalov, V. Kovalenko, D. Lalanne, K. Lang, Y. Lemiere, Z. Liptak, P. Loaiza, G. Lutter, F. Mamedov, C. Marquet, F. Mauger, B. Morgan, J. Mott, I. Nemchenok, M. Nomachi, F. Nova, F. Nowacki, H. Ohsumi, R.B. Pahlka, F. Perrot, F. Piquemal, P. Povinec, Y.A. Ramachers, A. Remoto, J.L. Reyss, B. Richards, C.L. Riddle, E. Rukhadze, R. Saakyan, X. Sarazin, Yu. Shitov, L. Simard, F. Simkovic, A. Smetana, K. Smolek, A. Smolnikov, S. Soldner-Rembold, B. Soule, I. Stekl, J. Suhonen, C.S. Sutton, G. Szklarz, J. Thomas, V. Timkin, S. Torre, Vl.I. Tretyak, V.I. Tretyak, V.I. Umatov, I. Vanushin, C. Vilela, V. Vorobel, D. Waters, and A. Zukauskas ; Physical Review D ; 12 June 2014.

Contact information:

CNRS researcher l Fabrice Piquemal l T 00 33 4 79 05 54 54 / 00 33 4 79 05 22 57 l

CNRS Press Officer l Lucie Debroux l T 00 33 1 44 96 43 09 l


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