Survey of lepton number violation via effective operators

André De Gouvêa*, James Jenkins

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

147 Scopus citations


We survey 129 lepton number violating effective operators, consistent with the minimal standard model gauge group and particle content, of mass dimension up to and including 11. Upon requiring that each one radiatively generates the observed neutrino masses, we extract an associated characteristic cutoff energy scale which we use to calculate other observable manifestations of these operators for a number of current and future experimental probes, concentrating on lepton number violating phenomena. These include searches for neutrinoless double-beta decay and rare meson, lepton, and gauge boson decays. We also consider searches at hadron/lepton collider facilities in anticipation of the CERN LHC and the future ILC. We find that some operators are already disfavored by current data, while more are ripe to be probed by next-generation experiments. We also find that our current understanding of lepton mixing disfavors a subset of higher dimensional operators. While neutrinoless double-beta decay is the most promising signature of lepton number violation for the majority of operators, a handful is best probed by other means. We argue that a combination of constraints from various independent experimental sources will help to pinpoint the "correct" model of neutrino mass, or at least aid in narrowing down the set of possibilities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number013008
JournalPhysical Review D - Particles, Fields, Gravitation and Cosmology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 30 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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