Division Particle & Astroparticle Physics

Research: Neutrino Physics - Dark Matter - Beyond the Standard Model

The division works on current topics in particle and astroparticle physics with a considerable overlap between experiment and theory. The focus of the experimental activities is on projects in the field of neutrino physics and the search for Dark Matter particles. The broader theoretical activities include phenomenological interpretations of experimental data and purely theoretical questions in a broad context of particle and astroparticle physics.

Theory: Connecting results from neutrino physics, dark matter search, other astroparticle physics results and experiments at accelerators it is possible to obtain direct and indirect information on new physics beyond the Standard Model of particle physics. One direction concerns particle physics motivated candidates for Dark Matter which emerge in models beyond the Standard Model and which lead to various phenomenological consequences. Another direction is neutrino physics including direct and indirect methods for the extraction of neutrino masses and mixings. Theoretical explanations of so-far unexplained regularities in these parameters are, for example, studied within flavour symmetries. The simulation of three flavour and matter effects for future neutrino oscillation experiments allows the extraction of leptonic CP and T violation, which is indirectly connected to the baryon asymmetry of the Universe. There exist also various other topics in the direction of (astro)particle physics. Examples are mechanisms for the explanation of the baryon asymmetry of the Universe, the electro-weak phase transition, Boltzmann- and Kadanoff-Baym (Quantum-Boltzmann) equations, cosmological vacuum energies, lepton flavour violation, etc. Last but not least, electro-weak symmetry breaking mechanisms and consequences for the so-called hierarchy problem are studied. Further details on the theoretical activities of the division can be found here.

Experiment: The experimental activities of the division are focussed on projects in the field of neutrino physics and dark matter search. We contribute significantly to the Double Chooz project which is one of the world-wide leading experiments looking for oscillations of reactor anti-neutrinos. The measurements constitute a very important test of three-flavour oscillations and they are a very important step in the direction of detecting leptonic CP violation. The division participates also in a significant way in the Gerda experiment which searches for lepton number violating decays of 76Germanium. This is important, since this would prove the Majorana nature of neutrinos. This would tell us a lot about the origin of neutrino masses. From the life-time one obtains interesting limits or values for neutrino masses. The participation in the XENON100 and XENON1t projects aims at the direct detection of WIMP dark matter particles. Liquid Xenon is one of the most promising technologies which have an excellent discovery potential for WIMPs in the expected regime. We are furthermore involved in the Borexino experiment which aims at the spectroscopy of solar neutrinos and at geo-neutrinos. Various low level techniques for background identification and reduction in current and future experiments, as well as for highly sensitive measurements with various materials are also studied by the division. For further details on the experimental activities of the division go here.


Last modified: Sun 5. March 2017 at 00:11:46