Master Projects Areas
Master projects in Particle Physics can be pursued in these areas:
A typical project in any of these areas would involve data analysis, computer-based modelling and/or programming, therefore for best results the students should be familiar with a Linux operating system, C++ programming language and ROOT analysis framework, e.g. by taking the MNXB01 course or similar.
The ALICE experiment at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at CERN is dedicated to studies of high-energy heavy-ion collisions, in which lead (Pb) nuclei collide at ultrarelativistic speeds to produce a unique phase of matter, the quark-gluon plasma (QGP). In this novel state of matter, the temperature and energy density are so high that quarks and gluons are no longer bound into the hadrons that make up normal matter, and thus by studying the properties of the QGP created in lead-lead (Pb-Pb) collisions we learn about nuclear matter and quantum chromodynamics (QCD) under extreme conditions.
ALICE also collects data in proton-proton (pp) and proton-lead (p-Pb) collisions, and has observed surprising similarities between these small collision systems and Pb-Pb collisions. A significant fraction of the work ongoing in the Lund ALICE group is dedicated to understanding the connections between pp, p-Pb, and Pb-Pb collisions, in order to improve our understanding not only of heavy-ion collisions but also of the high-energy proton-proton collisions at the LHC.
The ATLAS experiment is one of the two largest experiments at the 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 most ambitious goal of ATLAS is to discover new phenomena beyond the current Standard Model (BSM) of Particle Physics, such as, for example, Supersymmetry or particle Dark Matter. ATLAS also studies Standard Model phenomena, heavy quarks and heavy ion collisions. We also develop instruments and software tools and methods that make the experiment working.
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..
HIBEAM-NNBAR is a proposed two-stage program of experiments at the European Spallation Source (ESS) designed to search for neutrons converting into antineutrons and/or sterile neutrons. Such an observation would indicate baryon number violation, a fundamental condition for baryogenesis, the physical process that is hypothesized to have taken place during the early universe to produce baryonic asymmetry, i.e. the imbalance of matter (baryons) and antimatter (antibaryons) in the observed universe. In addition to shedding light on the baryon asymmetry of the universe, neutron conversions would provide the first falsification outside of the neutrino sector of the Standard Model (SM) of particle physics.
Taking advantage of the unique potential of the ESS, the high precision searches for neutron conversions to be performed by the HIBEAM-NNBAR collaboration will culminate in an ultimate sensitivity increase of three orders of magnitude beyond the previously attained limit obtained at the Institut Laue Langevin (ILL) in the early 1990s.
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.