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Physics Letters B 719, 154-163 (2013)


Observables in neutrino mass spectroscopy using atoms

D.N. Dinh, S.T. Petcova, N. Sasao, M. Tanaka, M. Yoshimura

The process of collective de-excitation of atoms in a metastable level into emission mode of a single photon plus a neutrino pair, called radiative emission of neutrino pair (RENP), is sensitive to the absolute neutrino mass scale, to the neutrino mass hierarchy and to the nature (Dirac or Majorana) of massive neutrinos. We investigate how the indicated neutrino mass and mixing observables can be determined from the measurement of the corresponding continuous photon spectrum taking the example of a transition between specific levels of the Yb atom. The possibility of determining the nature of massive neutrinos and, if neutrinos are Majorana fermions, of obtaining information about the Majorana phases in the neutrino mixing matrix, is analyzed in the cases of normal hierarchical, inverted hierarchical and quasi-degenerate types of neutrino mass spectrum. We find, in particular, that the sensitivity to the nature of massive neutrinos depends critically on the atomic level energy difference relevant in the RENP.