Available student project - Effect of nuclear structure on dark matter-nucleus interactions

Research fields

  • Theoretical Physics
  • Physics of the Nucleus
Dark matter particle scattering off a nucleus. The nature of this interaction may depend on nuclear structure.

Project details

The DAMA/LIBRA collaboration is the only experiment thus far which claims to have detected a dark matter annually modulating signal. However, several experimental efforts such as XENON100, XMASS, LUX, EDELWEISS and CDMS have excluded the DAMA/LIBRA signal. In addition to these new and continued experimental pursuits, there has been a re-evaluation of the importance of theoretical models in explaining this apparent discrepancy in observed signals - our research lies in this area of study.

We extend on previous work by considering the impact of nuclear structure on the interaction of a dark matter particle with a nucleus. To carry out this investigation, we perform state-of-the-art large scale nuclear shell model calculations for isotopes relevant to dark matter detection experiments. Our current results indicate that nuclear structure and nuclear model choice may impact the overall dark matter-nucleus interaction rate.


Student Project Goals
In this project, several avenues of work can be chosen:

  • Dive into the literature and formalism relating to dark matter-nucleus interactions;
  • Learning how to use the nuclear shell model programs NuShellX or KShell for some nuclei/isotopes, with potential to apply results to the dark matter-nucleus interaction formalism;
  • A combination of the two tasks above, weighted in accordance with student interest and time available.

Note that the scope/goals of the project may change depending on the start date in relation to the work currently being completed by the research group.

Required background

Recommended: Physics of Matter

Project suitability

This research project can be tailored to suit students of the following type(s)
  • 3rd year special project

Contact supervisor

Abdel Khaleq, Raghda profile
Student

Other supervisor(s)

Simenel, Cedric profile

Updated:  17 August 2022/ Responsible Officer:  Director, RSPhys/ Page Contact:  Physics Webmaster