PhD project: Direct detection of Dark Matter
Astronomical evidence strongly suggests that the baryonic matter (the neutrons, protons, electrons etc. of everyday material) contribute only about 5% of the mass of the Universe. The rest is composed of dark energy and dark matter. Direct detection of dark matter would allow this view to be confirmed, and provide a route to new fundamental particle physics. LUX-ZEPLIN, based at the Homestake Mine in South Dakota, is set to become the world's leading project in this highly exciting area. The group has responsibility for several aspects of research, principally including searches for axions, axion-like particles, hidden photons and mirror dark matter. We are also involved with operations, simulations and other support activities. With a view to the next generation of direct dark matter search instruments, we are looking at ways to increase their sensitivity by removing unwanted sources of background radiation, and in particular radon. We manage an XIA UltraLo (tm) installed within the Boulby Underground Laboratory in the north east of England, one of the most sensitive detectors for assessing the presence of radon and its decay products on material surfaces.
We are also highly active in public engagement, using the exciting environment and science themes afforded by Boulby mine and dark matter as an inspiration for influencing children towards STEM careers. We lead the STFC Spark award Remote Sensing in Remote Environments by Remote Schools project (www.remote3.co.uk) as well as a number of other activities.
- Professor Alex Murphy (School of Physics & Astronomy, University of Edinburgh)
The project supervisor welcomes informal enquiries about this project.
Find out more about this research area
The links below summarise our research in the area(s) relevant to this project:
- Find out more about Dark Matter.
- Find out more about Particle Physics Experiment.
- Find out more about the Institute for Particle and Nuclear Physics.
- Find out how to apply for our PhD degrees.
- Find out about fees and funding and studentship opportunities.
- View and complete the application form (on the main University website).
- Find out how to contact us for more information.