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Particle Physics at Low Energies

Prof. Bastian Märkisch

Research Field

A description of the fascinating research topics follows soon. You may have a look at the group’s homepage (see links on the right).

Address/Contact

James-Franck-Str. 1/I
85748 Garching b. München

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Course with Participations of Group Members

Offers for Theses in the Group

Analysis of backscattering non-linearities in electron energy detectors
We can set new limits on interactions beyond the Standard Model by studying the neutron beta decay. For this, we measure the decay electron energy with scintillator-based detectors and look for deviations in the energy spectrum from Standard Model predictions. The scintillator-based detectors convert electrons into photons, with the number of photons proportional to the original electron energy. Some electrons scatter in the scintillator and leave it without depositing enough energy to create a signal. Even with a second detector to capture backscattered electrons, we are missing energy for these backscattered electrons, and we need to understand the process. For this, we have a large dataset with electron timing information to study the phenomena from a recent measurement campaign at the research reactor Institut Laue-Langevin in Grenoble. You will use this unique data set and our analysis framework (Python) to help us to model the effect and correct our measurement. You will develop your own analysis with our tools and conduct simulation studies to compare your results.
suitable as
  • Bachelor’s Thesis Physics
Supervisor: Bastian Märkisch
Design of a scintillation detector as primary detector for PERC
The Proton and Electron Radiation Channel (PERC) facility, currently being set up at the FRM II, aims to measure the beta-asymmetry in neutron decay an order of magnitude more precisely to determine parameters of the Standard Model and to search for new physics beyond it. A system of superconducting coils guides the decay products towards the detector systems. PERC has one primary, downstream detector system and a secondary system located upstream, that will identify events with backscattered electrons from the primary detector. At first, the primary detector will be based on a fast plastic scintillator and photomultiplier tubes, similar to the detectors of previous experiments. Within this project, the student will design and assemble the first primary detector for PERC and possibly commission it. The performance of the detector will be studied with simulations.
suitable as
  • Bachelor’s Thesis Physics
Supervisor: Bastian Märkisch
Design of a Scintillation Detector with Drift Monitoring via a Pulser System
The Proton and Electron Radiation Channel (PERC) facility, currently being set up at the FRM II, aims to measure the beta-asymmetry in neutron decay an order of magnitude more precisely to determine parameters of the Standard Model and to search for new physics beyond it. A system of superconducting coils guides the decay products towards the detector systems. PERC has one primary, downstream detector system and a secondary system located upstream, that will identify events with backscattered electrons from the primary detector. At first, the primary detector will be based on a fast plastic scintillator and photomultiplier tubes, similar to the detectors of previous experiments. Calibrating the detectors is a key factor in achieving the precision aimed at. Radioactive sources with mono-energetic electrons serve for the calibration. A pulser system continuously monitors the detector’s drift with short, controlled light pulses. The pulser system, which includes a Kapustinsky pulser, a silicon photomultiplier and temperature sensors, is being controlled via an Arduino. Within this project, the student will design and assemble the first primary detector for PERC and commission it including the pulser system. The performance of the detector will studied, including simulations based on Geant4.
suitable as
  • Master’s Thesis Applied and Engineering Physics
Supervisor: Bastian Märkisch
Modeling of the FRM II core
highly enriched uranium (HEU) to lower enriched uranium. This program is part of worldwide efforts to minimize the usage of HEU in research reactors. For this reason, a parameter study is set up in order to identify possible and compatible FRM II core designs for conversion. The working group “Reactor Physics” at FRM II is actively working on developing new core designs for the conversion of the FRM II. In order to reach the goal of a core with the lowest enrichment possible, a parameter study is set up that aims to identify possible and compatible FRM II core designs. As a first essential step, several 3D Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) codes for use in high performance research reactors are available to perform a code-to-code verification based on experimental results. Within this thesis, the potential of Ansys Fluent for the FRM II core will be explored. You will get familiar with the physics of modelling fluids with the Navier-Stokes equation, the intricacies of the simulation program and the FRM II core. You will develop and verify suitable postprocessing tools and compare results by Fluent and Ansys CFX.
suitable as
  • Master’s Thesis Applied and Engineering Physics
Supervisor: Bastian Märkisch
Optical pulser system for detector calibration
The Proton and Electron Radiation Channel (PERC) facility, currently being set up at the FRM II, aims to measure the beta-asymmetry in neutron decay an order of magnitude more precisely to determine parameters of the Standard Model and to search for new physics beyond it. A system of superconducting coils guides the decay products towards the detector systems. Calibrating the detectors is a key factor in achieving the precision aimed at. Radioactive sources with mono-energetic electrons serve for the calibration. A pulser system continuously monitors the detector’s drift with short, controlled light pulses. The pulser system, which includes a Kapustinsky pulser, a silicon photomultiplier and temperature sensors, is being controlled via an Arduino. Within this project, with the pulser system be put into operation, the communication with the system will be programmed and the system properties of it will be characterized in the laboratory.
suitable as
  • Bachelor’s Thesis Physics
Supervisor: Bastian Märkisch
Performance of electronics for precision beta spectroscopy
The instrument PERC is currently under construction at the FRM II and will investigate correlations in the weak decay of the neutron with highest precision in order to test the Standard Model of particle physics. For this experiment, we develop a new silicon detector for precision spectroscopy of electrons from neutron decay. A multi-channel-analyzer (MCA) collects its data. In our case, this device includes a small amplifier, an analog-digital-converter and an FPGA for the data analysis. Like any electronic device, the MCA is not perfectly linear and also crosstalk can occur between the different channels. Within this thesis, the properties of the MCA will be characterized in detail with the help of an arbitrary waveform generator. Results will be used to test the performance of development samples of the silicon detector. (Thesis in German or English).
suitable as
  • Bachelor’s Thesis Physics
Supervisor: Bastian Märkisch

Current and Finished Theses in the Group

Tiefenprofilmessung mit gepulsten Neutronen
Abschlussarbeit im Bachelorstudiengang Physik
Themensteller(in): Bastian Märkisch
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