Neutrinoless double beta decay in seesaw models

  • Mattias BlennowEmail author
  • Enrique Fernandez-Martinez
  • Jacobo Lopez-Pavon
  • Javier Menéndez


We study the general phenomenology of neutrinoless double beta decay in seesaw models. In particular, we focus on the dependence of the neutrinoless double beta decay rate on the mass of the extra states introduced to account for the Majorana masses of light neutrinos. For this purpose, we compute the nuclear matrix elements as functions of the mass of the mediating fermions and estimate the associated uncertainties. We then discuss what can be inferred on the seesaw model parameters in the different mass regimes and clarify how the contribution of the light neutrinos should always be taken into account when deriving bounds on the extra parameters. Conversely, the extra states can also have a significant impact, canceling the Standard Model neutrino contribution for masses lighter than the nuclear scale and leading to unobservable neutrinoless double beta decay amplitudes even if neutrinos are Majorana particles. In particular, the decay rate is reduced by at least six orders of magnitude for masses of the extra states below 1 MeV in absence of extra contributions. We also discuss how seesaw models could reconcile large rates of neutrinoless double beta decay with more stringent cosmological bounds on neutrino masses.


Beyond Standard Model Neutrino Physics 


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Copyright information

© SISSA, Trieste, Italy 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mattias Blennow
    • 1
    Email author
  • Enrique Fernandez-Martinez
    • 1
  • Jacobo Lopez-Pavon
    • 2
    • 3
  • Javier Menéndez
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
  1. 1.Max-Planck-Institut für Physik (Werner-Heisenberg-Institut)MünchenGermany
  2. 2.Departamento de Física TeóricaUniversidad Autónoma de MadridCantoblancoMadridSpain
  3. 3.Instituto Física Teórica UAM/CSICMadridSpain
  4. 4.Institut für KernphysikTechnische Universität DarmstadtDarmstadtGermany
  5. 5.ExtreMe Matter Institute EMMI, GSI Helmholtzzentrum für Schwerionenforschung GmbHDarmstadtGermany

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