PhD in Particle Physics




Royal Holloway, U. of London


Closing Date:


Deadline: July 1st, 2011


Dark Matter studies

Dark matter direct detection is a rapidly growing field combining cutting-edge detector development with fundamental physics at the low-background frontier. A PhD position is available in a new group at RHUL, engaged in research on the MiniCLEAN and DMTPC dark matter searches. MiniCLEAN is the current stage of the DEAP/CLEAN single-phase liquid argon detector programme, the goal of which is a 100 tonne low-background, low-energy observatory for dark matter and neutrino physics. MiniCLEAN is under construction at SNOLab now, and will begin taking data in 2012. The projected sensitivity is an order of magnitude beyond current results in spin-independent dark matter detection. DMTPC is a directional dark matter detection R&D effort, currently taking data at WIPP.

A key issue in both experiments is neutron backgrounds, since the final state of a single neutron interaction is indistinguishable from a dark matter candidate signal. This group is developing novel instrumentation, techniques to measure the neutron backgrounds in-situ, and new analysis methods to use the measured background distributions in world-leading dark matter searches. A student working on this research would be involved in both hardware and software. Approximately 30% of the PhD would be spent working at the experiment site, with the remaining time spent in the Department of Physics at Royal Holloway, University of London.

The studentship is funded by STFC and will be opened until filled. Only Home/EU students are eligible to apply.


Letters of Reference should be sent to: karataev@pp.rhul.ac.uk