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Thomas Pöschl

Courses and Dates

Offered Bachelor’s or Master’s Theses Topics

Antiparticle Production

Detection of antiparticle cosmic rays can be a key way to search for exotic sources of antimatter in our universe such as dark matter annihilation. Cosmic-ray antideuterons (an antiproton and antineutron bound together) are particularly good to look for since they are infrequently produced by non-exotic sources. However, the mechanism of their production from antiprotons and antineutrons---called coalescence---is poorly understood. We can study this process in the laboratory using decays of upsilon mesons (bound states of bottom and antibottom quarks) produced at the Belle experiment in Tsukuba, Japan (and in the near future at the Belle II experiment). To do this, we need to measure the momentum spectra of antideuterons and antiprotons produced by decaying upsilons. The task of this thesis work is to analyze existing data from the Belle experiment (and plan for future data from the Belle II experiment) to search for antiprotons and antideuterons in upsilon decays.

Tasks

Learn how an analysis is conducted at a high-energy physics experiment

Compose the analysis using C++ / Python

Check the accuracy of the analysis using simulated data

Prerequisites 

Experience in C++ or Python programming is helpful, but not required.

Contact

Thomas Pöschl, Room PH1 3257, Thomas.poeschl@ph.tum.de

Daniel Greenwald, Room PH1 3275, daniel.greenwald@tum.de

Prof. Stephan Paul, Room PH1 3263, stephan.paul@tum.de

suitable as
  • Master’s Thesis Nuclear, Particle, and Astrophysics
Supervisor: Stephan Paul
Simulation of Particle Fluxes and Event Rates in Low Earth Orbit

The Antiproton Flux in Space (AFIS) mission will measure the flux of low-energy antiprotons in Low Earth Orbit (LEO), which are created in interactions of high-energy cosmic rays with Earth’s upper atmosphere. Under certain conditions, these antiprotons can be trapped in Earth’s magnetic field and accumulate in the Van Allen radiation belts. The existence of this only known natural accumulation of antimatter was experimentally confirmed by the PAMELA detector in 2011. In order to accurately estimate the event rates expected during a typical mission in LEO, a simulation framework for calculating particle fluxes is needed. In this thesis, existing frameworks and models shall be extended to include the creation and trapping of antiprotons. This requires the understanding of production and transport mechanisms, as well as the properties of Earth’s magnetic field. Basic orbit mechanics of spacecraft have to be implemented in order to determine the dependency of event rates on orbital parameters.

Tasks

Acquire necessary theoretical understanding of antiproton production and transport mechanisms in Earth’s atmosphere, as well as basics of orbit mechanics

Develop/extend a simulation framework in C/C++ to include antiproton trapping

Analyze simulation output and estimate expected event rates for different spacecraft orbits

Optional: Systematically analyze the influence of physical and mission parameters on the event rates

Prerequisites 

Experience in C++ or Python programming is helpful, but not required.

Contact

Thomas Pöschl, Room PH1 3257, Thomas.poeschl@ph.tum.de

Prof. Stephan Paul, Room PH1 3263, stephan.paul@tum.de

suitable as
  • Master’s Thesis Nuclear, Particle, and Astrophysics
  • Master’s Thesis Applied and Engineering Physics
Supervisor: Stephan Paul
Simulations of the Lunar Radiation Environment

In recent years, the plan of sending human back to the Moon came back to the fore. Some ambitious plans even consider building a permanently inhabited base on the moon. However, the radiation environment on the Moon can be a problematic health issue for the astronauts. Only little data is available from the Moon’s surface and the effect of particles that are produced in the upper layers of the lunar surface by the bombardment of cosmic rays is not yet fully understood. In this thesis, a full simulation of the lunar radiation environment shall be conducted. A detailed simulation of the galactic cosmic-ray background interacting with the Moon’s regolith shall be conducted using the high-energy physics simulation tool Geant4. The outcome of this study shall be used to set requirements for radiation detectors that shall measure all contributing radiation components. These results shall be used to optimize the design of the radiation detector currently under development for the LUVMI-X moon rover. 

Tasks

  • Acquire the necessary theoretical understanding of the radiation environment in space and the interactions of cosmic rays with matter.
  • Set up a simulation written in C++, based on the Geant4 simulation framework.
  • Analyze and interpret the simulated radiation environment.
  • Optimize the design of a particle detector that can efficiently measure the lunar radiation environment.  

Prerequisites 

Experience in C++ programming is helpful, but not required.

Contact

Thomas Pöschl, Room PH1 3257, Thomas.poeschl@ph.tum.de

Martin Losekamm, Room PH1 3257, m.losekamm@tum.de

Prof. Stephan Paul, Room PH1 3263, stephan.paul@tum.de

suitable as
  • Master’s Thesis Nuclear, Particle, and Astrophysics
  • Master’s Thesis Applied and Engineering Physics
Supervisor: Stephan Paul
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