Reference : UMR6457-SARDIG-002
Workplace : NANTES
Date of publication : Wednesday, June 22, 2022
Scientific Responsible name : Sara Diglio
Type of Contract : PhD Student contract / Thesis offer
Contract Period : 36 months
Start date of the thesis : 1 October 2022
Proportion of work : Full time
Remuneration : 2 135,00 € gross monthly
Description of the thesis topic
The existence of dark matter is known from gravitational effects, but its nature is still completely unknown, and its characterisation is one of the main theoretical and experimental challenges of modern particle and astroparticle physics. Several proposed candidates have been put forward over time, including luminous dark matter. In recent years, this model has attracted a lot of interest because it could explain the recent observation by the XENON1t experiment of a still unexplained electronic signal.
The successor to XENON1T, XENONnT, is now in the data collection phase. It consists of a liquid xenon time projection chamber three times larger than its predecessor and therefore more sensitive to the search for rare events. This technology is one of the most promising ones for the proposed research: it will continue to play a leading role in this field of research with the future generation DARWIN experiment.
In this context, the main objective of this project is the search for luminous dark matter with data from the XENONnT experiment and the preparation of the future generation experiment, DARWIN.
The thesis will be carried out in co-direction between the SUBATECH laboratory and The University of Melbourne (UniMelb): the candidate will be enrolled in the PhD program of the IMT Atlantique Nantes school of the SUBATECH laboratory and in the PhD program of the UniMelb School of Physics.
The Xenon team at SUBATECH is strongly involved in the search for dark matter and rare events within the international XENON collaboration, which operates the XENONnT experiment at the Laboratori Nazionali del Gran Sasso, Italy. The group contributes to the R&D and sensitivity studies of DARWIN in the search for rare events.
The School of Physics at the University of Melbourne has recently joined the DARWIN collaboration. Its members have strong expertise in theoretical modelling and data interpretation, including direct detection searches for dark matter and physics beyond the Standard Model. The School hosts the Australian Research Council's Centre of Excellence for Dark Matter Particle Physics and is part of a consortium of universities supporting the Stawell Underground Physics Laboratory.
The student will be a member of the XENON and DARWIN collaborations. He/she will analyse data from the XENONnT experiment and integrate the XENONnT simulation and analysis frameworks with new tools developed explicitly to test the luminous dark matter hypothesis. The future PhD student will also participate in the R&D activities of the DARWIN project.
The PhD candidate will benefit from the combined expertise of the project supervisors and the integration in two research environments.
Constraints and risks
The PhD student will be based at the SUBATECH laboratory in Nantes with a minimum stay of 12 months at the University of Melbourne.
The candidate should have a Master degree in physics.
Proven experience in the field of particle or astroparticle physics, good computer skills and previous experience in simulations, data processing and analysis will be an asset.
This offer is part of a "PhD joint call" between SUBATECH and The University of Melbourne. In this context, two theses are proposed within the same framework (over the same period, and on the same global theme), of which this one foresees at least 12 months at UniMelb and the rest at SUBATECH, while the other foresees at least 12 months at SUBATECH and the rest at UniMelb. The two PhD students will exchange and sometimes work together throughout the two theses.
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