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Status and Prospects of LEGEND

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Prof Ian Kenyon.

If neutrinos were the one (and only) instance of elementary particles of the Majorana type, they could undergo a hypothetical process violating lepton number, the so-called Neutrinoless double-beta decay (0νββ). If 0νββ indeed were observed, that would be enough to claim the Majorana nature of neutrinos. Several experiments have been conceived, which search for 0νββ in a handful of isotopes, baring a favourable energy-momentum configuration. A variety of experimental techniques are being employed in the quest. So far the best statistical sensitivity on the half-life for the 0νββ process occurrence is of around 1026 yr and belongs to experiments employing Ge76 (germanium) both as source and as semi-conducting detector. It comes from an experiment called GERDA , based at the Italian underground Laboratori Nazionali del Gran Sasso (LNGS).

In this seminar I will focus on the child born of GERDA and its US counterpart, the “MAJORANA Demonstrator”: LEGEND . Using a two-stage approach with about 200 kg first and then 1000 kg of germanium diodes enriched in Ge76, LEGEND aims to attain a sensitivity around 1028 years in half-life, probing the inverted-ordering of the neutrino masses. I will review the general concept and design of LEGEND ; describe the detectors and their current performance in the present LEGEND -200 phase, after several months of commissioning and physics data taking at LNGS . I will also illustrate how the backgrounds can have a dramatic effect on the search; and in which way this can be mitigated, with some emphasis on the use of the liquid-argon detector. Finally, I will provide an expected timeline to get LEGEND -1000 up and running and the related R&D activities.

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