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July 09, 2007
Our (Andrew’s and mine) project involves the design and implementation of a Monte Carlo simulation of the ββ(0v) decay event, which should help in the search for the event. Tim has already outlined the basic theory of the decay, but not the implications of its observation.
If the ββ(0v) decay is observed then some assertions about neutrinos in the Standard Model (SM) of physics are incorrect. For example, the SM explains the observation of only left handed neutrinos by asserting that neutrinos propagate at the speed of light, and therefore are massless. However if the ββ(0v) is observed then it implies neutrinos have a finite mass, which is a big problem in the SM.
Neutrino physics has advanced rapidly and more theory suggests that this is the case, and the SM will need more and more augmentation if these theories are proved correct by observation.