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Searching for Dark Matter with the Lux-Zeplin Detector

   Department of Physics

   Applications accepted all year round  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

The Centre for Particle Physics at Royal Holloway is offering a PhD opportunity on the LZ experiment for direct detection of dark matter. The nature of dark matter is one of the most fundamental open questions in physics, and the LZ experiment is at the forefront of technology designed to pursue this question. The experiment instruments 7 tonnes of liquid xenon, with the ability to measure particle interactions of <2 keV, in a detector with extremely low rates of radioactive backgrounds. This enables the experiment to measure dark matter interaction cross sections with two orders of magnitude increase in sensitivity over current experiments for dark matter particle masses below the TeV scale.

The success of the LZ experiment depends on a careful understanding of the response of the detector. The PhD student project is to develop detailed calibration analyses that will quantify the detector’s response to interactions and optimize the detector’s ability to distinguish signals from backgrounds. These analyses will feed into a diverse set of physics searches, including axion, WIMP dark matter, and neutrinoless double beta decay. These activities will build a broad range of skills, including advanced simulation techniques, operation and automation of hardware, statistical data analysis, and presentation of results. 

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