CUORE team places new limits on the bizarre behavior of neutrinos

The researchers from the CUORE (Cryogenic Underground Observatory for Rare Events) experiment, located at the Laboratori Nazionali del Gran Sasso of INFN (Istituto Nazionale di Fisica Nucleare) on the 6th of April published on Nature new results on the true nature of the neutrino, thereby demonstrating the uniqueness of the experiment technology, that is capable of maintaining stably a huge detector of more than 700 kg at a temperature close to absolute zero for more than three years.


In a cavern under a mountain, shielded by 1400 m of rock, CUORE, which is taking data in the cosmic silence of the Laboratori Nazionali del Gran Sasso, is among the most sensitive experiments for the study of a distinctive nuclear decay process, neutrinoless double beta decay, only possible if neutrinos and antineutrinos are the same particle. Such decay, if ever observed, would shed light on the enigmatic Majorana nature of neutrinos. The new CUORE results were extracted from a huge amount of data, collected in the last three years, a volume which is ten times higher than that of any other search performed with similar techniques. Despite its outstanding sensitivity, CUORE experiment has never seen evidence of events of this kind. CUORE’s new data shows that this decay in tellurium doesn’t happen for trillions of trillions of years, if it happens at all. CUORE’s limits on the behavior of these tiny phantoms are a crucial part of the search for the next breakthrough in particle and nuclear physics – and the search for our own origins.


The Genoa group is committed to various tasks: the realization of the suspension system, the development and maintenance of the electronic acquisition system and data analysis, taking part in the development of the new statistical software for the double beta decay analyses. Current and past members are Andrea Bersani, Alessio Caminata, Alice Campani, Massimo Cariello, Simone Copello, Roberto Cereseto, Sergio Di Domizio and Marco Pallavicini, researchers, professors and tecnicians from both the Department of Physics and INFN. Sergio Di Domizio is a member of the CUORE executive board and Alice Campani is in the outreach group of the experiment