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A search for double beta decay in ^(136)XE with a time projection chamber


Wong, Henry Tsz-king (1991) A search for double beta decay in ^(136)XE with a time projection chamber. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/w3rp-hf50.


This thesis describes an experimental study of both the Ov and 2v double beta decay in ^(136)Xe with a Time Projection Chamber (TPC). The excellent track reconstruction capability of the TPC enables powerful background rejection. The construction and performance of the TPC, as well as the experimental features for background control are described. The TPC with its lead shielding has been installed in the Gotthard Tunnel Underground Laboratory in May 1990. Results from early background measurements using 5 atm of xenon depleted in ^(136)Xe are presented. Based on the background data, the projected sensitivities to the Ov and 2v modes with one year of run time in 60% enriched ^(136)Xe are 3.2 x 10^(23) years and 1.2 x 10^(21) years, respectively. Both numbers represent an order of magnitude improvements over previous experiments. Adopting the nuclear matrix elements from Vogel, the Ov sensitivity implies a Majorana neutrino mass parameter of 4.5 eV.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:Physics
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Physics, Mathematics and Astronomy
Major Option:Physics
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Boehm, Felix H.
Thesis Committee:
  • Unknown, Unknown
Defense Date:27 September 1990
Record Number:CaltechTHESIS:04112011-094939243
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:6284
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:13 Apr 2011 16:28
Last Modified:16 Apr 2021 23:16

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