Stefan Schönert is awarded an Advanced Grant by the European Research Council to prepare for a new experiment to tackle one of the unresolved puzzles of physics: Why is there so much more matter in our universe than antimatter?
A natural solution to this puzzle would be to have particles identical to their antiparticles. For a long time, scientists suspect that this could hold for Neutrinos. According to the current state of knowledge, this could only be verified by the proof of neutrinoless double beta decay, a very rare decay of certain atomic nuclei. Based on previous experiments, Prof. Stefan Schönert and his ERC-funded project "GemX" will pursue the preliminary work for the new large-scale experiment LEGEND to prove this decay. For this purpose, Stefan Schönert and his team will develop high-purity detectors enriched in germanium isotope Ge-76. In the long term, up to a ton of these novel detectors will be operated in an underground laboratory, shielded from cosmic rays and natural radioactivity.
Stefan Schönert is Professor of Experimental Astroparticle Physics at the TUM, Co-Speaker of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258, Speaker of LEGEND and a member of the Excellence Cluster Universe