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Hadronic Structure and Fundamental Symmetries

Prof. Stephan Paul

Research Field

Our group involved in a number of research projects dealing with high energy particle physics and neutron physics.

Address/Contact

James-Franck-Str. 1/I
85748 Garching b. München
+49 89 289 12572
Fax: +49 89 289 12570

Members of the Research Group

Professor

Office

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Teaching

Course with Participations of Group Members

Offers for Theses in the Group

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
Construction and Test of a Scintillating-Fiber Tracker for a Measurement of the Proton Radius at CERN’s Super Proton Synchrotron

The proton is one of the primary building blocks of all matter in the visible universe and as such is at the core of the quest for understanding nature. Yet, many of its properties are not well understood. At the center of current interest stands its charge radius, oftentimes simply referred to as the proton radius. Recent measurements of this fundamental quantity are in significant disagreement with each other, in what is often called the proton radius puzzle.

As part of an international collaboration, we intend to measure the proton radius through elastic muon-proton scattering with a high-energy muon beam at CERN’s Super Proton Synchrotron starting in 2021. The experiment requires the development of several new particle detectors, among them a fast tracking detector made of scintillating-plastic fibers. The construction and test of this tracker is the main objective of this thesis.


Tasks

  • Acquire the necessary understanding of the fundamentals of particle detection, scintillating materials, photodetectors, and detector read-out electronics.
  • Perform initial tests of detector components in the laboratory environment.
  • Design, construct, and commission three prototype detectors.
  • Conduct a system test at the MAMI accelerator facility in Mainz.
  • Analyze the performance of the tracker system.


What We Offer

We offer you to make your contribution to a new experiment trying to solve one of the most puzzling discrepancies in our understanding of the nature of matter. You will gain experience in detector design, electronics design, and data analysis. And you will get the chance to perform an experiment at a particle accelerator facility!



suitable as
  • Master’s Thesis Nuclear, Particle, and Astrophysics
  • Master’s Thesis Applied and Engineering Physics
Supervisor: Stephan Paul
Development of an autonomous trigger system for muon chambers with cylindrical drift tubes
suitable as
  • Bachelor’s Thesis Physics
  • Master’s Thesis Nuclear, Particle, and Astrophysics
Supervisor: Oliver Kortner
Monte Carlo Studies for Optimization of the Setup of the Proton Radius Measurement in elastic high-energetic muon-proton scattering with COMPASS++/AMBER

Das COMPASS-Experiment am Super-Proton Synchrotron SPS des CERN führt seit etwa 18 Jahren Messungen mit hochenergetischen Teilchenstrahlen zur Erforschung der Quantenchromodynamik stark wechselwirkender Teilchen durch. Zur Zeit wird das Nachfolge-Experiment COMPASS++/AMBER entworfen, mit dem unter anderem eine Präzisionsmessung von elastischer Myon-Proton Streuung durchgeführt werden soll. Durch die besonderen kinematischen Verhältnisse wird diese Messung allgemein als wichtige zusätzliche Informationsquelle anerkannt, um die derzeit widersprüchlichen Ergebnisse zur Bestimmung des Protonradius besser zu verstehen und so zur Lösung des Protonradius-Rätsels beizutragen.

Für dieses Experiment sind einige neue Detektortypen geplant, darunter ein aktives Wasserstofftarget mit Driftzeit-Projektionstechnik und Pixel-Siliziumdetektoren. Der Aufbau, der 2021 in Betrieb gehen soll, befindet sich derzeit in Optimierung, wozu auch zeitaufwändige und komplexe Monte-Carlo-Simuationen durchzuführen sind. Hier soll im Rahmen dieser Arbeit mitgearbeitet werden, was eine spannende und in aktuelle Forschungsaktivitäten eng eingebundene Tätigkeit verspricht. 

suitable as
  • Master’s Thesis Nuclear, Particle, and Astrophysics
Supervisor: Jan Michael Friedrich
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

Current and Finished Theses in the Group

Development of a Neural Network for Online Event Reconstruction for a Radiation Monitor
Abschlussarbeit im Masterstudiengang Physik (Kern-, Teilchen- und Astrophysik)
Themensteller(in): Stephan Paul
Implementation of a Bayesian Particle Filter for Event Reconstruction on GPUs
Abschlussarbeit im Masterstudiengang Physics (Applied and Engineering Physics)
Themensteller(in): Stephan Paul
Powder diffractometry with a Guinier camera- Characterization and test of a Huber G670 Guinier camera
Abschlussarbeit im Masterstudiengang Physics (Applied and Engineering Physics)
Themensteller(in): Stephan Paul
Search for a Majorana neutrino in semileptonic tau decay
Abschlussarbeit im Austauschprogramm Physik (Bachelor-Niveau, 12 CP + 3 CP Kolloquium)
Themensteller(in): Stephan Paul
Test of high-resolution muon drift-tube chambers for the ATLAS experiment
Abschlussarbeit im Masterstudiengang Physics (Applied and Engineering Physics)
Themensteller(in): Oliver Kortner
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