Particle Physics

Lund University

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Master Projects

Basic information


Lund University's Department of Physics runs a dedicated Particle Physics Master's program that has a selection of courses and includes a project of choice, jointly lasting for 4-5 study terms and leading to a degree of Master of Science in Physics.

It should be noted that all the master projects can be adjusted to fit an either a 6 months project with 30 credit points or 12 months with 60 credit points.

Modern particle physics relies on the analysis of millions of events, hence it puts large demands not only on knowledge of underlying physics, but also on the use of computational methods of data analysis. For students who expect to do diploma projects in our division, it is thus desirable to have the following, or equivalent, courses:

  • FYST17 - Modern Experimental Particle Physics
  • MNXB01 - Introduction to Programming and Computing for Scientists

See detailed information on the requirements and designated courses here:

Master Projects Areas

Master projects in Particle Physics can be pursued in these areas:

ALICE Projects

The ALICE experiment is dedicated to studies of high-energy heavy ion collisions at LHC. In heavy ion accelerator experiments, heavy ions, such as gold (Au) or lead (Pb), are collided to study the properties of hot and dense mater. The goal is to study a variety of collective effects, primarily characterizing a unique phase of matter called the Quark-Gluon Plasma (QGP). ALICE also collects data on proton-proton collisions.


The Lund group has been involved on the detector side with the construction of the ALICE experiments' Time Projection Chamber (TPC) sub-detector. TPC is a 90 cubic meter gas detector for tracking charged particles produced in collisions. On the analysis side we study multiple parton interactions in proton-proton collisions and investigate jet fragmentation medium modifications in Pb+Pb collisions, and many more possibilities are open.

Examples of projects:

  • TPC calibration with laser data:
    By analyzing the laser data it is possible to determine at the sub-millimeter level the distortions caused by imperfections in the electric field and misalignment between the magnetic and the electric field (so called ExB effects).

  • Particle identification at high transverse momentum (pT):
    High pT particles are the results of jet fragmentation. We want to use the TPC energy loss information (dE/dx) to identify these particles - a challenging analysis. We hope to understand better the jet production and fragmentation in proton-proton collisions, in particular for high multiplicity collisions. This gives us the baseline for understanding the similar process in heavy ion collisions. In heavy ion collisions we know from data collected at lower energies that the production and fragmentation is significantly modified due to the hot and dense medium, such as QGP.

  • Optimization of particle identification at high pT with dE/dx:
    The TPC dE/dx resolution is reduced by correlations between measurements of the energy loss due to detector effects. As these effects are well understood one might be able to improve the resolution considerably.

  • Particle number fluctuations:
    Particle number fluctuations have been proposed as an indication of the phase transition between hadronic matter and the QGP. This work can be done with ALICE data, but the group has been also involved in the PHENIX experiment at BNL (USA).

For discussing a project please contact:

For more information about the ALICE collaboration and its detector, see the Web page of the ALICE Experiment.

ATLAS Projects

The ATLAS experiment is one of the two largest experiments at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN. ATLAS is designed to search for new particles in proton-proton collisions at this world's most powerful accelerator, which saw first particle collisions in late 2009. Together with another large experiment (CMS), ATLAS announced the discovery of the Higgs boson in 2012.

The Lund group is deeply involved in studying the experimental signatures of several models with the potential to solve the open questions of the Standard Model of Particle Physics, and reach beyond it.

In order to detect well-hidden signals, we also develop advanced software tools and computing techniques, which can be generalised beyond ATLAS.

Examples of projects:

  • Standard model and detector performance: 

    Plenty of potential topics related to particle identification and detector measurements, for instance:
    • Calibration of a detector (LUCID; TRT)
    • Studies of jet fragmentation
    • Studies of lepton isolation
    • Search for charge misidentification for muons
    • Studying the higgs to 4 leptons signal
    • Diboson cross sections

  • Analysis of exotic signals:

    New physics is expected to show up but there are many competing models, such as super-symmetry, extra dimensions, black holes, 4th generation fermions, multiple higgs bosons, and many more. Pick your favorite model and study the final states with leptons, jets, and missing energy needed to discover (or exclude) it. Study signal extraction and background suppression techniques for the different channels.
    • Select one of the new physics models and study the distinction between SM and exotic physics
    • Optimization of selection cuts for an exotics signal. For instance supersymmetry, doubly charged higgs
    • Applying advanced analysis techniques (multivariate, neural nets etc) to create new discriminating variables
    • Sensitivity studies for the SHIP experiment (see )
    • Muon stopping / background shielding, SHIP experiment
    • Dark Matter searches

  • Software tools:

    We focus on improvement of existing ATLAS tools for analysis and detector modelling, development of new approaches, as well as development of solution for distributed computing for ATLAS, other Particle Physics experiments, and other research applications. Possible projects include:
    • Studies of detector simulation optimisation
    • Development of end-user utilities for distributed computing
    • Study and application of modern analytics methods in Particle Physics

For discussing a project please contact:

For more information about the ATLAS collaboration and the detector, please visit the Web page of the ATLAS Experiment.

LDMX Projects

The Light Dark Matter eXperiment (LDMX) is a proposed accelerator-based experiment to search for light Dark Matter particles. The origin and observed abundance of Dark Matter in the Universe can be explained elegantly by the thermal freeze-out mechanism, leading to a wide mass range of the Dark Matter particles in the MeV-TeV region. The heavy GeV-TeV mass range is being explored intensely by the variety of experiments searching for Weakly Interacting Massive Particles (WIMPs). The  light sub-GeV region, however, in which the masses of most of the building blocks of stable matter lie, is hardly being tested experimentally to date. LDMX is a planned electron-beam fixed-target experiment, that has unique potential to conclusively test models for such light Dark Matter in the MeV to GeV range. 

Diploma projects within the LDMX group include work on various aspects of Dark Matter studies, detector simulation, data analytics etc..

    Computing for HEP projects

    Modern Particle Physics requires complex and highly customized software, as well as  large computing power and data storage capacities. Development of software solutions for Particle Physics is as important as detector or accelerator devlopment, and is a field of intensive research, resulting in numerous publications and solutions that find use in other areas of human activities. Famously, World Wide Web was developed at CERN as a tool to cross-link documents stored in different servers. The Worldwide LHC Computing Grid cross-links scientific data and enables complex distributed workflows. 

    Diploma projects in computing are typically linked to one of the experiments listed above, or may be of a generic cross-HEP nature. Students are expected to be familiar with code development, knowledge of C++ is most beneficial.