The electron neutrino mass, double beta decay and cosmology

Paul Langacker, B. Sathiapalan, Gary Steigman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


The Lubimov et al. experiment suggests a nonzero νe mass in the 20-45 eV range, while neutrinoless double beta decay experiments set upper limits between 2 and 10 eV if the νe is an unmixed Majorana particle. Together, these imply that the νe is either a Dirac neutrino or that it is a mixture of Majorana mass eigenstates which cancel in the double beta decay amplitude. We consider the laboratory and cosmological constraints on the latter possibility and show that it is ruled out except for two small regions of parameter space unless new physics is invoked to allow a fast invisible decay or annihilation channel for the heavy neutrino. Surprisingly, the cosmological constraints are often stronger if the heavy neutrino is mainly an SU2×U1 singlet than if it has normal weak interactions. Implications for the recently reported 17 keV neutrino are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)669-686
Number of pages18
JournalNuclear Physics, Section B
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Mar 24 1986

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics


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