Regular Article - Experimental Physics
Precise Q value determinations for forbidden and low energy -decays using Penning trap mass spectrometry
Department of Physics, Central Michigan University, 48879, Mount Pleasant, MI, USA
2 Facility for Rare Isotope Beams, 48824, East Lansing, MI, USA
Accepted: 14 January 2023
Published online: 6 February 2023
Nuclear -decay provides a laboratory for investigating weak decays occurring inside the nuclear medium. This provides information on the resulting subtle nuclear and atomic effects, and on the underlying interaction and the properties of the particles that are involved, particularly of the neutrino. The Q value of the decay corresponds to the energy equivalent of the mass difference between parent and daughter atoms, and can be precisely and accurately measured using Penning trap mass spectrometry. In this paper we discuss Penning trap Q value measurements for forbidden -decays of long-lived primordial nuclides, and for a subset of -unstable nuclides that could potentially undergo a very low energy decay to an excited state in the daughter nucleus. We discuss applications of these measurements to tests of systematics in detectors that perform precise -spectrum measurements, as inputs for theoretical shape factor, electron branching ratio and half-life calculations, and to identify nuclides that could serve as new candidates in direct neutrino mass determination experiments.
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