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Experimental Astro-Particle Physics

Prof. Stefan Schönert

Research Field

Neutrino Physics

  • LENA - Low Energy Neutrino Astronomy
  • Borexino
  • DoubleChooz
  • CNNS - Coherent Neutrino Nucleus Scattering
  • GERDA - Search for neutrino-less double beta decay

Dark Matter Search

  • CRESST - Cryogenic Rare Event Search with Superconducting Thermometers
  • CRESST Scattering Experiment at the Maier-Leibnitz Laboratorium
  • EURECA - European Dark Matter Search
  • Experiments on liquified rare gases

Address/Contact

James-Franck-Str. 1/I
85748 Garching b. München
15office@ph.tum.de
+49 89 289 12522
Fax: +49 89 289 12680

Members of the Research Group

Professors

Office

Scientists

Students

Other Staff

Teaching

Course with Participations of Group Members

Titel und Modulzuordnung
ArtSWSDozent(en)Termine
Angewandte Multi-Messenger-Astronomie 2: Statistische und Machine-Learning-Methoden in Teilchen- und Astrophysik
Zuordnung zu Modulen:
VI 4 Resconi, E.
Mitwirkende: Agostini, M.Niederhausen, H.Vaudrevange, P.
Fr, 10:00–13:45, PH 1161
Astro-Particle Physics 2
Zuordnung zu Modulen:
VO 2 Pollmann, T. Mi, 08:00–10:00, PH HS3
Exercise to Astro-Particle Physics 2
Zuordnung zu Modulen:
UE 2
Leitung/Koordination: Pollmann, T.
Termine in Gruppen
Übung zu Physik II für Geodäsie und Geoinformation
Zuordnung zu Modulen:
UE 2 Mertens, S.
Leitung/Koordination: Oberauer, L.
Termine in Gruppen
Current Topics in Astro-Particle Physics
Zuordnung zu Modulen:
SE 2 Oberauer, L. Schönert, S.
FOPRA-Versuch 02: Messung der Radonkonzentration in Raumluft
Zuordnung zu Modulen:
PR 1 Schönert, S.
Mitwirkende: Comellato, T.
FOPRA-Versuch 17: Mößbauer-Effekt
Zuordnung zu Modulen:
PR 1 Schönert, S.
Mitwirkende: Wagner, F.
FOPRA-Versuch 26: Siliziumbasierte Fotodetektoren in der Teilchenphysik
Zuordnung zu Modulen:
PR 1 Schönert, S.
Mitwirkende: Simon, F.Windel, H.
FOPRA-Versuch 63: Gammaspektroskopie
Zuordnung zu Modulen:
PR 1 Schönert, S.
Mitwirkende: Ponnath, L.
FOPRA-Versuch 77: Detektorphysik (Simulation und Experiment)
Zuordnung zu Modulen:
PR 1 Schönert, S.
Mitwirkende: Klenze, P.
FOPRA-Versuch 81: Lichtsensoren für die Gamma-Astronomie
Zuordnung zu Modulen:
PR 1 Schönert, S.
Mitwirkende: Hahn, A.
Magnificent CEvNS 2020
Zuordnung zu Modulen:
WS 1.5 Strauß, R. einzelne oder verschobene Termine
Vorbesprechung zum Fortgeschrittenen-Praktikum (F-Praktikum)
Zuordnung zu Modulen:
PR 0.1 Schönert, S. Stutzmann, M.
Mitwirkende: Hauptner, A.

Offers for Theses in the Group

Analysis of data from the DEAP-3600 dark matter detector

The DEAP dark matter detector has been taking physics data for 3 years, searching for interactions between galactic dark matter particles and the argon target material. This unique dataset spanning hundreds of TB offers many opportunities to study liquid argon scintillation physics, optical processes, and background suppression techniques. MSc and BSc topics related to background suppression through pulse shape analysis, Dark Matter signal modelling, and the study of rare coincidences, are available. Students work within an international collaboration of over 100 physicists and might have the opportunity to visit the detector site at SNOLAB in Canada. Students will acquire skills in data analysis and statistics, C++ and/or python programming, Linux/Unix command line operation, Monte Carlo simulation, and in working with large datasets on high performance computing systems. Students have the chance to practice communicating physics results to other students and experts from many different institutions by presenting their work in bi-weekly project-wide analysis phone-conferences.

suitable as
  • Bachelor’s Thesis Physics
  • Master’s Thesis Condensed Matter Physics
  • Master’s Thesis Nuclear, Particle, and Astrophysics
  • Master’s Thesis Applied and Engineering Physics
Supervisor: Stefan Schönert
CRESST: freezing cold, deep underground, but illuminating the dark

The CRESST (Cryogenic Rare-Event Search with Superconducting Thermometers) experiment operated at the Gran Sasso underground laboratory employs highly sensitive cryogenic detectors to the search for signals of the elusive dark matter particles, a main ingredient of the Universe whose nature is still unknown. 

The energy thresholds reached in CRESST-III are the lowest in the field, making CRESST the most sensitive experiment to light dark matter. Optimisation of the tungsten thin-film thermometers and of the techniques for data analysis promise still improvement in energy threshold, which could significantly boost the physics reach of the experiment.

Scientific topics

 

A student can contribute to:

- design, production and prototyping of new CRESST detectors in Munich 

- development of high purity crystals 

- development of new software tools for data analysis

- dark matter data analysis

 

and, if interested, can participate in the operation of the main experiment at Gran Sasso. 

 

Thesis can be carried out at the Chair for astroparticle physics of the Physics Department and/or at the Max-Planck-Institute for Physics (MPP). Supervision at the Physics Deptartment by Prof. Schönert / Dr. Strauss and at the MPP by Prof. Schönert /  Dr. Federica Petricca. Please contact schoenert@ph.tum.de, raimund.strauss@ph.tum.de and petricca@mpp.mpg.de for further information. 

suitable as
  • Bachelor’s Thesis Physics
  • Master’s Thesis Condensed Matter Physics
  • Master’s Thesis Nuclear, Particle, and Astrophysics
  • Master’s Thesis Applied and Engineering Physics
Supervisor: Stefan Schönert
The NUCLEUS Experiment: Investigation of background sources at low energies

NUCLEUS is an experiment aiming at the exploration of a new neutrino interaction: coherent elastic neutrino nucleus scattering (CEvNS). This detection channel offers unique possibilities to study the fundamental properties of neutrinos and adresses important questions of modern astroparticle physics. The cross-section of CEvNS is strongly enhanced compared to classic neutrino interactions (by 3-4 orders of magnitude) and therefore allows to drastically reduce the size of neutrino detectors. In Munich we have developed a prototype cryogenic detector that achieved the world-best energy threshold for nuclear recoils of about 20eV, required to exploit the full potential of CEvNS. We’ll install the detector at the CHOOZ nuclear power plant in France, one of the most intense (anti)neutrino sources on Earth. The NUCLEUS experiment is currently being built by an international collaboration lead by TUM, and is funded by the European Commission (ERC Grant), the SFB1258 and the Excellence Cluster ORIGINS. 

We offer an exciting experimental Masters thesis in the framework of the NUCLEUS experiment with a focus on the investigation of backgrounds at lowest energies (<1keV). The origin of the dominating backgrounds in this “new“ energy range are still unknown and its identification is crucial for the success for NUCLEUS and other upcoming CEvNS experiments. The work on the thesis will give insight to low-background techniques, cryogenic detectors and data analysis. The candidate will be fully integrated in the existing research group at TUM and work in cooperation with our international partners. 

suitable as
  • Master’s Thesis Condensed Matter Physics
  • Master’s Thesis Nuclear, Particle, and Astrophysics
  • Master’s Thesis Applied and Engineering Physics
Supervisor: Raimund Strauß
The NUCLEUS Experiment: Development of innovative calibration sources for low energies

NUCLEUS is an experiment aiming at the exploration of a new neutrino interaction: coherent elastic neutrino nucleus scattering (CEvNS). This detection channel offers unique possibilities to study the fundamental properties of neutrinos and adresses important questions of modern astroparticle physics. The cross-section of CEvNS is strongly enhanced compared to classic neutrino interactions (by 3-4 orders of magnitude) and therefore allows to drastically reduce the size of neutrino detectors. In Munich we have developed a prototype cryogenic detector that achieved the world-best energy threshold for nuclear recoils of about 20eV, required to exploit the full potential of CEvNS. We’ll install the detector at the CHOOZ nuclear power plant in France, one of the most intense (anti)neutrino sources on Earth. The NUCLEUS experiment is currently being built by an international collaboration lead by TUM, and is funded by the European Commission (ERC Grant), the SFB1258 and the Excellence Cluster ORIGINS. 

We offer an exciting experimental Masters thesis in the framework of the NUCLEUS experiment with a focus on the development  of innovative calibration sources. The precise knowledge of the energy scale is crucial for the sensitivity of NUCLEUS and will pave the way towards a precision measurement of CEvNS. The work on the thesis will give insight to low-background techniques, cryogenic detectors and data analysis. The candidate will be fully integrated in the existing research group at TUM and work in cooperation with our international partners. 

suitable as
  • Master’s Thesis Condensed Matter Physics
  • Master’s Thesis Nuclear, Particle, and Astrophysics
  • Master’s Thesis Applied and Engineering Physics
Supervisor: Raimund Strauß
The NUCLEUS Experiment: Development of cryogenic neutrino detectors

NUCLEUS is an experiment aiming at the exploration of a new neutrino interaction: coherent elastic neutrino nucleus scattering (CEvNS). This detection channel offers unique possibilities to study the fundamental properties of neutrinos and addresses important questions of modern astroparticle physics. The cross-section of CEvNS is strongly enhanced compared to classic neutrino interactions (by 3-4 orders of magnitude) and therefore allows to drastically reduce the size of neutrino detectors. In Munich we have developed a prototype cryogenic detector that achieved the world-best energy threshold for nuclear recoils of about 20eV, required to exploit the full potential of CEvNS. We’ll install the detector at the CHOOZ nuclear power plant in France, one of the most intense (anti)neutrino sources on Earth. The NUCLEUS experiment is currently being built by an international collaboration lead by TUM, and is funded by the European Commission (ERC Grant), the SFB1258 and the Excellence Cluster ORIGINS. 

We offer an exciting experimental Master's thesis in the framework of the NUCLEUS experiment with a focus on the development and optimization of cryogenic particle detectors with ultra-low energy thresholds. The work on the thesis will give insight to cryogenics, low-background techniques, data analysis and data interpretation. The candidate will be fully integrated in the existing research group at TUM and work in cooperation with our international collaborators. 

suitable as
  • Master’s Thesis Condensed Matter Physics
  • Master’s Thesis Nuclear, Particle, and Astrophysics
  • Master’s Thesis Applied and Engineering Physics
Supervisor: Raimund Strauß
LEGEND: Are neutrinos their own anti-particles?

Neutrinos were discovered in 1956, but only at the turn of the millennium was it experimentally proven that the three known neutrino types can convert into one another. These flavor oscillations are possible only if neutrinos have nonzero mass, which is currently the only established contradiction to the standard model (SM) of particle physics. From tritium beta  decay experiments and cosmological observations, we know that their masses are very small—less than 10-5  of the electron mass. Neutrinos are the only fundamental spin-1/2 particles (fermions) without electric charge. As a consequence, they might be Majorana fermions, articles identical to their antiparticles. This is a key ingredient of some explanations for why matter is so much more abundant than antimatter in today’s Universe and why neutrinos are so much lighter than the other elementary particles. Majorana neutrinos would lead to nuclear decays that violate lepton number conservation and are therefore forbidden in theSMof particle physics. The so-called neutrinoless double-b (0nbb) decay simultaneously transforms two neutrons inside a nucleus into two protons with an emission of two electrons. The GERDA experiment and future LEGEND-200 experiment are located in the Italian Gran Sasso underground laboratory and are leading experiments in the world-wide competion. 

 

We offer the opportunity to carry out exciting experimental BSc and MSc theses with focus on liquid argon detector developments, germanium detector developments, data analysis and/or Monte Carlo simulations. You would be fully integrated in the research team and work closely together with our international partners. 

suitable as
  • Bachelor’s Thesis Physics
  • Master’s Thesis Condensed Matter Physics
  • Master’s Thesis Nuclear, Particle, and Astrophysics
Supervisor: Stefan Schönert
LEGEND: Deciphering the signal structure of novel germanium detectors
suitable as
  • Bachelor’s Thesis Physics
  • Master’s Thesis Condensed Matter Physics
  • Master’s Thesis Nuclear, Particle, and Astrophysics
Supervisor: Stefan Schönert
LEGEND: Visualize light from liquid argon scintillation
suitable as
  • Bachelor’s Thesis Physics
  • Master’s Thesis Condensed Matter Physics
  • Master’s Thesis Nuclear, Particle, and Astrophysics
  • Master’s Thesis Applied and Engineering Physics
Supervisor: Stefan Schönert
Sensitive tests of wavelength-shifting properties of materials for dark matter and neutrinoless double beta decay detectors

Rare event searches looking for neutrino and dark matter interactions are performed with highly sensitive detector systems, often relying on scintillators, especially liquid noble gases, to detect particle interactions. Detectors consist of structural materials that are assumed to be optically passive, and wavelength-shifting materials that absorb photons and re-emit them at wavelengths where their detection is more easy or efficient. MSc theses are available related to measuring the wavelength shifting efficiency of a number of materials that might be used in future detectors. Furthermore, measurements to ensure that presumably passive materials do not re-emit photons, at the low level relevant to the detectors, can be done. Part of the thesis work can include Monte Carlo simulations and data analysis for current and upcoming dark matter detectors, to study the effect of different levels of desired and nuisance wavelength shifting. In this project, students will acquire skills in photon detection, wavelength shifting technologies, vacuum systems, UV and extreme-UV optics, detector design, and optionally in C++ programming, data analysis, and Monte Carlo techniques.
The work will be done in the context of the DarkSide-20k/DEAP-3600 and LEGEND nternational collaborations. This work is done in close collaboration with institutions in Canada, Poland and in Italy with the option of visiting the collaborating institutions. Students have the chance to practice communicating physics results to other students and experts from many different institutions by presenting their work in bi-weekly project-wide phone-conferences.

suitable as
  • Bachelor’s Thesis Physics
  • Master’s Thesis Condensed Matter Physics
  • Master’s Thesis Nuclear, Particle, and Astrophysics
  • Master’s Thesis Applied and Engineering Physics
Supervisor: Stefan Schönert

Current and Finished Theses in the Group

Development of the NUCLEUS 10g Cryogenic Detector for Observing the Coherent Neutrino Nucleus Scattering
Abschlussarbeit im Masterstudiengang Physik (Kern-, Teilchen- und Astrophysik)
Themensteller(in): Raimund Strauß
Developing a toolbox for the examination of reactor antineutrino spectra
Abschlussarbeit im Masterstudiengang Physik (Kern-, Teilchen- und Astrophysik)
Themensteller(in): Raimund Strauß
Development of vibration decoupling systems for the NUCLEUS cryostat
Abschlussarbeit im Masterstudiengang Physik (Kern-, Teilchen- und Astrophysik)
Themensteller(in): Raimund Strauß
Calibration and Monitoring of the Energy Scale in the Katrin Experiment
Abschlussarbeit im Masterstudiengang Physics (Applied and Engineering Physics)
Themensteller(in): Susanne Mertens
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