Thesis


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Academic Year
2010 / 2011
Title
Topics in Dark Matter Phenomenology
Domain
Astroparticle Physics
Abstract
It is more than seventy years since an unknown missing mass was first postulated by F. Zwicky in order to understand the motion of galaxies in clusters. Since then, a lot of very compelling astrophysical and cosmological evidences at different scales have been found in favor of the existence of this non-luminous matter, from the measurements of the rotation curves of galaxies to the precise observations of the Cosmic Microwave Background, Large Scale Structure and Big Bang Nucleosynthesis. These observations indicate that it constitutes about 80% of the total mass content of the Universe. However, although there are many pieces of evidence in favor of dark matter, it is worth noting that they each infer dark matter's presence uniquely through its gravitational influence. In other words, we currently have no conclusive evidence for dark matter's non-gravitational interactions. A variety of techniques has been considered to detect dark matter. Among these are collider experiments to produce dark matter particles or find evidence for the presence of particles beyond the Standard Model, direct searches for signals of nuclear recoil of dark matter scattering off nuclei in direct detection experiments, and indirect searches looking for the products of dark matter annihilation (or decay), which include antimatter, neutrinos and photons. Several hints of possible dark matter detection have been suggested during the last few years, so the next years will surely be very exciting with plenty of new data from current and future experiments. We are hopefully very close to see (if not seen already) a non-gravitational dark matter signal. Once this is accomplished, the next step would be to use the available information to constrain its properties. The proposed project will be devoted to the phenomenological study of different aspects of dark matter detection and in particular, the possibility to use complementarity among different types of techniques in order to learn about dark matter properties. This is intended to be a very interdisciplinary and open project, which will provide a broad view of the field of astroparticle physics. In addition of being possible to work on many different related topics, the student would also benefit from international collaborations, would have support to attend international schools and conferences, and eventually visits to different international centers could also be arranged to work with local scientists. Interested candidates, please send an email to: sergio.palomares.ruiz@ist.utl.pt
Institution
grants the Degree
IST
Host Institution
Centro de Fisica Teorica de Particulas
Supervisor
Sergio Palomares-Ruiz
Co-Supervisor