Available student project - Impact of nuclear structure on dark matter direct detection

Research fields

WIMP-nucleus elastic scattering

Project details

Weakly interacting massive particles (WIMPs) are potential candidates for dark matter that are searched for at underground laboratories worldwide, including in Australia with the future SABRE and CYGNUS experiments. These experiments look for the recoil of atomic nuclei following scattering with a WIMP of the galactic halo. WIMPs are expected to interact with quarks and/or gluons within the nucleons which form the nucleus. The arrangement of the nucleons in the nucleus (i.e., its nuclear structure) is expected to impact the scattering due to quantum many-body effects such as Pauli blocking, superfluidity, spin-orbit coupling, etc. 

The project is to perform state of the art nuclear structure calculations, with the nuclear shell model or with the Hartree-Fock mean-field approach, and study the impact of this nuclear structure on WIMP-nucleus scattering for the various elements used in detectors (sodium, iodine, xenon, argon, germanium...). In particular, it is important to properly evaluate the uncertainty coming from nuclear structure modelling in the scattering cross-section.   

Further information

Required background

Physics of Matter (PHYS3105)

Quantum Field Theory (PHYS3201)

Project suitability

This research project can be tailored to suit students of the following type(s)

Contact supervisor

Simenel, Cedric profile