Overconstrained estimates of neutrinoless double beta decay within the QRPA

Physics – Nuclear Physics – Nuclear Theory

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Revised version (27 pages, including 10 figures), focussed on Mo-100 and Cd-116. To appear in J. Phys. G: Nucl. Phys. (2008)

Scientific paper

10.1088/0954-3899/35/7/075104

Estimates of nuclear matrix elements for neutrinoless double beta decay (0nu2beta) based on the quasiparticle random phase approximations (QRPA) are affected by theoretical uncertainties, which can be substantially reduced by fixing the unknown strength parameter g_pp of the residual particle-particle interaction through one experimental constraint - most notably through the two-neutrino double beta decay (2nu2beta) lifetime. However, it has been noted that the g_pp adjustment via 2\nu2\beta data may bring QRPA models in disagreement with independent data on electron capture (EC) and single beta decay (beta^-) lifetimes. Actually, in two nuclei of interest for 0nu2beta decay (Mo-100 and Cd-116), for which all such data are available, we show that the disagreement vanishes, provided that the axial vector coupling g_A is treated as a free parameter, with allowance for g_A<1 (``strong quenching''). Three independent lifetime data (2nu2beta, EC, \beta^-) are then accurately reproduced by means of two free parameters (g_pp, g_A), resulting in an overconstrained parameter space. In addition, the sign of the 2nu2beta matrix element M^2nu is unambiguously selected (M^2nu>0) by the combination of all data. We discuss quantitatively, in each of the two nuclei, these phenomenological constraints and their consequences for QRPA estimates of the 0nu2beta matrix elements and of their uncertainties.

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