MARE experiment

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The latest MARE proposal


Short description of the MARE experiment

The MARE experiment will consist of arrays of low temperature calorimeters measuring the beta decay of 187Re (Q=2.47 keV, the lowest known in nature), with the objective to constrain or mesaure directly the neutrino mass on a pure kinematical basis.

The MARE approach would have a totally different systematics with respect to KATRIN (the only experiment for direct determination of neutrino mass presently in construction phase, based on tritium beta decay and projected to take data from 2010). The MARE intrinsic modularity allows in principle a progressive expansion of the experiment down to and perhaps lower than 0.2 eV sensitivity (the planned KATRIN's sensitivity).

The specific beta activity of natural rhenium (of the order of 1 Bq/mg), is ideally taylored to low temperature microcalorimeters, detectors consisting of a Re-based energy absorber and a sensitive thermometer which converts the temperature increase induced by a single beta decay into an electrical signal.

The MARE development is organized in two phases:

MARE is presently funded as such in Italy by INFN and by a two year project of the Italian Department of Research (MUR). In other MARE labs, funds are available for microcalorimeter developments which have MARE as a possible final application.