Tritium Beta Spectrum Measurement and Neutrino Mass Limit from Cyclotron Radiation Emission Spectroscopy

Project 8 Collaboration

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Abstract

The absolute scale of the neutrino mass plays a critical role in physics at every scale, from the subatomic to the cosmological. Measurements of the tritium end-point spectrum have provided the most precise direct limit on the neutrino mass scale. In this Letter, we present advances by Project 8 to the cyclotron radiation emission spectroscopy (CRES) technique culminating in the first frequency-based neutrino mass limit. With only a cm3-scale physical detection volume, a limit of mβ<155 eV/c2 (152 eV/c2) is extracted from the background-free measurement of the continuous tritium beta spectrum in a Bayesian (frequentist) analysis. Using Kr83m calibration data, a resolution of 1.66±0.19 eV (FWHM) is measured, the detector response model is validated, and the efficiency is characterized over the multi-keV tritium analysis window. These measurements establish the potential of CRES for a high-sensitivity next-generation direct neutrino mass experiment featuring low background and high resolution.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number102502
JournalPhysical review letters
Volume131
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 8 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy

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