The world leaders in the field of Double Beta Decay (DBD) are presently European. The three most sensitive experiments (Heidelberg-Moscow, CUORICINO and NEMO3) have been conceived and realized in Europe. HM gave the best results so far obtained but it is no longer running. CUORICINO and NEMO3 on the contrary, are presently acquiring data and will be able to investigate the controversial claimed evidence of neutrinoless DBD observation that was published recently.
These searches explore the neutrino mass scale in the 0.2 - 0.5 eV range. Furthermore, several European groups manage innovative techniques capable to extend the neutrino Majorana mass sensitivity down to ~ 0.05 - 0.01 eV in experiments of next generation (CUORE, Gerda, SuperNEMO). In case of inverted hierarchy mass pattern, in such a region the discovery potential is very high, as indicated by the features of the recently observed neutrino flavor oscillations. In order to achieve this high sensitivity, there is unanimous agreement within these European groups that coordination and cooperation are of paramount importance and that an intense R&D activity is necessary for the exploitment of the novel technology potential.
The purpose of this proposed project is to develop and integrate the most promising techniques in the field, founding a European Observatory for DBD (EODBD), a distributed research infrastructure which has the ambition of being a world reference for the study of the neutrino nature and mass scale.