Discriminating dark matter properties from neutrino spectra


  • Call:

    IDPASC Portugal - PHD Programme 2016

  • Academic Year:

    2016 / 2017

  • Domains:

    Astrophysics | Astroparticle Physics

  • Supervisor:

    Ilidio Lopes

  • Co-Supervisor:

  • Institution:

    Instituto Superior Técnico

  • Host Institution:

    Instituto Superior Técnico

  • Abstract:

    Across the globe several experiments are poised to detect high-energy neutrinos produced by the annihilation of dark matter at the Sun’s core [1]. These indirect dark matter searches can potentially record the energy spectrum of these dark matter neutrinos coming from the Sun [2]. Once this neutrino spectrum is observed this will be a milestone step to understand the properties of dark matter particles and neutrinos alike. This is the main objective of current neutrino detectors such as the ANTARES [3] and ICECUBE [4] observatories. Currently the favored particle candidate for dark matter, as predicted by many particle physics models, are massive particles that interact very weakly with baryons. For that reason these are commonly called weakly interacting massive particles. Unfortunately, many particles fulfilled these requirements, with masses varying from 1 to 1000 times the mass of the proton. The observation of neutrino spectra resulting from dark matter annihilation in the Sun’s core should help us to strongly constrain the properties of dark matter. The main objective of this Ph.D. project is to study the dependence of neutrino spectra on realistic solar models for several dark matter candidates [5,6]. Indeed, current predictions of neutrino spectra do not take into account the impact of dark matter in the evolution of the Sun, which leads to the readjustment of its core structure. Unlike most of the neutrino spectra found in the literature, we will predict neutrino spectra using the latest solar standard model and requiring that our solar dark matter models are consistent with up-to-date helioseismology and solar neutrino fluxes data [7]. This Ph.D. project will provide to the experimental physics community up-to-date realistic neutrino spectra for a few dark matter models; a very useful tool to guide experimentalists on the search of dark matter neutrino spectra. This project is strongly inter-disciplinary; as such the chosen candidate must be highly motivated, eager to learn several specialized topics in astrophysics, particle physics and cosmology. Moreover, the student must have a versatile approach to fundamental research, equally strong in theoretical and numerical computations, also able to interpret different types of data sets coming from astrophysics observations or particle physics detectors. References: [1] Cirelli et al. 2010, "Spectra of neutrinos from Dark Matter annihilation", Nuclear physics review B, vol. 727. [2] Ilídio Lopes, Joseph Silk 2010 "Neutrino Spectroscopy Can Probe the Dark Matter Content in the Sun", Science, Volume 330, Issue 6003, pp. 462. [3] ANTARES collaboration 2014, "ANTARES: the ?rst undersea neutrino telescope", [4] IceCube-PINGU Collaboration 2014, "upgrade do IceCube, da IceCube, PINGU collaboration", [5] Ilídio Lopes, Joseph Silk 2012 " Solar Constraints on Asymmetric Dark Matter", The Astrophysical Journal, Volume 757, Issue 2, article id. 130, 8 pp. [6] Ilídio Lopes, Kenji Kadota, Joseph Silk 2014 " Constraint on Light Dipole Dark Matter from Helioseismology", The Astrophysical Journal Letters, Volume 780, Issue 2, article id. L15, [7] Ilídio Lopes, Joseph Silk 2013 "Planetary in?uence on the young Sun's evolution: the solar neutrino probe", Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, Volume 435, Issue 3, p.2109-211

Thesis Student

  • Student:

    José Lopes

  • Status:


  • Started At:

    January 01, 2017

  • Ended At: