Document Type

Article

Department/Program

Physics

Journal Title

PHYSICAL REVIEW D

Pub Date

9-11-2017

Volume

96

Issue

5

Abstract

A lattice quantum chromodynamics (LQCD) calculation of the nuclear matrix element relevant to the nn -> ppee (nu) over bar (e)(nu) over bar (e) transition is described in detail, expanding on the results presented in Ref. [P. E. Shanahan et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. 119, 062003 (2017)]. This matrix element, which involves two insertions of the weak axial current, is an important input for phenomenological determinations of double-beta decay rates of nuclei. From this exploratory study, performed using unphysical values of the quark masses, the long-distance deuteron-pole contribution to the matrix element is separated from shorter-distance hadronic contributions. This polarizability, which is only accessible in double-weak processes, cannot be constrained from single-beta decay of nuclei, and is found to be smaller than the long-distance contributions in this calculation, but nonnegligible. In this work, technical aspects of the LQCD calculations, and of the relevant formalism in the pionless effective field theory, are described. Further calculations of the isotensor axial polarizability, in particular near and at the physical values of the light-quark masses, are required for precise determinations of both two-neutrino and neutrinoless double-beta decay rates in heavy nuclei.

DOI

10.1103/PhysRevD.96.054505

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