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Dark Matter

Prof. Susanne Mertens

Research Field

We study the elusive particle, the neutrino, to unlock fundamental mysteries of physics: What is our universe made of? How did structures evolve? Why is our world made of matter and not anti-matter?

Despite major discoveries in the last decades, the neutrino is still one of the most mysterious particles of the standard model of particle physics: What is its mass? Is it its own antiparticle? Does there exist a right-handed partner to the known left-handed neutrino, a so called sterile neutrino? Exploring these properties will help us understand fundamental open questions about our universe.

The Karlsruhe Tritium Neutrino (KATRIN) Experiment will directly measure the absolute neutrino mass. The knowledge of the neutrino mass will have a crucial impact on understanding the structure formation in the early universe. KATRIN is situated at the KIT in Karlsruhe and will start data taking in 2017. With an upgraded multi pixel Si-detector system, called TRISTAN, KATRIN can extend its physics goal to also search for keV-scale sterile neutrinos. This new neutrino species is an ideal candidate for Dark Matter. Our group is leading the sterile neutrino search with KATRIN

Besides KATRIN, our group is involved in the search for neutrinoless double beta decay (0nbb) with the MAJORANA experiment. The discovery of this process would proof that the neutrino is its own antiparticle, which in turn can help us understand the matter anti-matter asymmetry of the universe. MAJORANA and the closely related experiment GERDA plan to join in the near future to perform the ultimate search for this ultra-rare decay.

Address/Contact

Föhringer Ring 6
80805 München
susanne.mertens@tum.de
+49 89 32354-590

Members of the Research Group

Professor

Scientists

Teaching

Course with Participations of Group Members

Titel und Modulzuordnung
ArtSWSDozent(en)Termine
Physik II für Geodäsie und Geoinformation
Zuordnung zu Modulen:
VO 3 Mertens, S. Di, 15:00–18:15, 1200
Der Neutrinomasse auf der Spur
Zuordnung zu Modulen:
HS 2 Mertens, S. Di, 14:00–16:00, MPP 30C
Proseminar zur Astroteilchenphysik
Zuordnung zu Modulen:
PS 2 Mertens, S.
Übung zu Physik II für Geodäsie und Geoinformation
Zuordnung zu Modulen:
UE 2 Oberauer, L.
Leitung/Koordination: Mertens, S.
Termine in Gruppen
Repetitorium zu Der Neutrinomasse auf der Spur
Zuordnung zu Modulen:
RE 2
Leitung/Koordination: Mertens, S.
Repetitorium zu Proseminar zur Astroteilchenphysik
Zuordnung zu Modulen:
RE 2
Leitung/Koordination: Mertens, S.

Current and Finished Theses in the Group

Application of a TRISTAN Silicon Drift Detector as Forward Beam Monitor in KATRIN
Abschlussarbeit im Masterstudiengang Physik (Kern-, Teilchen- und Astrophysik)
Themensteller(in): Susanne Mertens
Application of Machine Learning Algorithms on Pixelized Images of Air Cherenkov Telescopes
Abschlussarbeit im Masterstudiengang Physik (Kern-, Teilchen- und Astrophysik)
Themensteller(in): Susanne Mertens
Determination of the Column Density in the KATRIN Beamline with Electrons from the Photo-Electric Source
Abschlussarbeit im Masterstudiengang Physik (Kern-, Teilchen- und Astrophysik)
Themensteller(in): Susanne Mertens
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