Quantum Sensors for the Absolute Neutrino Mass
The neutrino masses are the only unmeasured masses in the (Nu) Standard Model of Particle Physics. As such they are one of the outstanding experimental challenges in particle physics. However we do know that the neutirno masses are tiny, perhaps over a million times lighter than the other fundamnetal matter particles.
New experimental techniques will be necessary to measure the neutrino mass. Recent advances in atomic trapping and high frequency radio detection may allow a program of research and development that will culminate with the measurement of the neutrino mass.
The most direct way to measure the absolute neutrino mass is through its kinematic effect on measurable momenta in a process. This only assumes relativistic energy-momentum conservation and is especially independent of the Majorana vs. Dirac nature of neutrinos. Given the tiny neutrino masses, this is very challenging and the most promising process is beta decay of Tritium using a precise measurement of the emitted electron kinetic energy
The goal of WP4 is to harness the quantum sensor technologies, in particular recent advances with magneto-optical traps and superconducting frequnecy spectrometers to carry out a detailed mapping of the end point of the atomic Tritium beta-spectrum. If this technology can reach a sensitivity of ~0.01 eV then a positive observation is guaranteed .