Title: Elucidating Neutrino Properties by Searching for Neutrinoless Double Beta Decay


The observation of neutrino oscillations and the implied presence of neutrino mass has resulted in renewed impetus to search for neutrinoless double beta decay. Its observation would indicate that neutrinos are Majorana particles and would have profound implications to guide the incorporation of massive neutrinos into the Standard Model. Future neutrinoless double beta decay experiments aim to probe the inverted neutrino mass hierarchy with sensitivity to an effective neutrino mass below 50 meV. To achieve this goal will require large exposures and extremely low background rates. The MAJORANA and GERDA collaborations are fielding ~40 kg experiments to demonstrate the feasibility of achieving the unprecedented background rates required for the success of a ton-scale neutrinoless double beta decay search in 76Ge. After motivating the search for neutrinoless double beta decay in the wider context of neutrino research, I will outline the path to a ton-scale, 76GeĀ­ based experiment, including strategies for the mitigation of problematic backgrounds, alternative shielding configurations, and anticipated laboratory depth requirements.