Long-Distance Nuclear Matrix Elements for Neutrinoless Double-Beta Decay from Lattice QCD

TitleLong-Distance Nuclear Matrix Elements for Neutrinoless Double-Beta Decay from Lattice QCD
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2024
AuthorsDavoudi, Z, Detmold, W, Fu, Z, Grebe, AV, Jay, W, Murphy, D, Oare, P, Shanahan, PE, Wagman, ML
Date Published2/14/2024

Neutrinoless double-beta (0νββ) decay is a heretofore unobserved process which, if observed, would imply that neutrinos are Majorana particles. Interpretations of the stringent experimental constraints on 0νββ-decay half-lives require calculations of nuclear matrix elements. This work presents the first lattice quantum-chromodynamics (LQCD) calculation of the matrix element for 0νββ decay in a multi-nucleon system, specifically the nn→ppee transition, mediated by a light left-handed Majorana neutrino propagating over nuclear-scale distances. This calculation is performed with quark masses corresponding to a pion mass of mπ=806 MeV at a single lattice spacing and volume. The statistically cleaner Σ−→Σ+ee transition is also computed in order to investigate various systematic uncertainties. The prospects for matching the results of LQCD calculations onto a nuclear effective field theory to determine a leading-order low-energy constant relevant for 0νββ decay with a light Majorana neutrino are investigated. This work, therefore, sets the stage for future calculations at physical values of the quark masses that, combined with effective field theory and nuclear many-body studies, will provide controlled theoretical inputs to experimental searches of 0νββ decay.