Study of dark matter candidates and rare decay events in the LZ detector


  • Call:

    IDPASC Portugal - PHD Programme 2017

  • Academic Year:

    2017 / 2018

  • Domains:

    Experimental Particle Physics | Astroparticle Physics

  • Supervisor:

    Alexandre Lindote

  • Co-Supervisor:

    Claudio Frederico Pascoal da Silva

  • Institution:

    Universidade de Coimbra

  • Host Institution:

    Laboratório de Instrumentação e Física Experimental de Partículas

  • Abstract:

    The existence of dark matter, which composes 85% of the mass of the Universe, is well established and strongly supported by astrophysical data and observations of various sources (e.g. galaxy rotation curves, cosmic microwave background, gravitational lensing), but its nature remains unknown and constitutes one of the most important physics problems of our time. The LUX-ZEPLIN (LZ) detector will use 10 tonnes of liquid xenon to search for particles that may help solve the dark matter mystery. With such a large mass, this detector will also be sensitive to rare decays of xenon isotopes involving neutrino emission, which will improve our knowledge of neutrino and nuclear physics and may even point to new physics beyond the standard model. In this project the student will work on the phenomenology of different dark matter candidate particles and also that of rare decays, and study the possible signatures they will originate in the detector. With this knowledge, the student will develop analyses routines for the identification of such events. The use of machine learning algorithms for these analyses is also foreseen.