26 June 2017 to 5 July 2017
Texel, Netherlands
Europe/Zurich timezone

Student projects

General information

The ISAPP 2017 Texel School projects are designed to engage students in discussions, literature research and original work on the main topics of the school lectures.  The projects will be worked on in teams of 4-6 students, and students are encouraged to discuss their work with the lecturers during the Q&A sessions.  The results of the projects will be presented at the end of the school, Tuesday 4 July, by representatives of each group.  Each presentation will be 15+3 min long (incl. ~3 min for questions).

You can find the project descriptions below.  Please sign up for the projects here, where you can indicate your first and second choice, by Tuesday 27 June, 1:30pm.  Based on these choices, we will group students together, giving preference to the most popular projects.

Each team should nominate one or two presenters, and email us the CERN Indico IDs. If you don't yet have a CERN Indico account, please ask for a "lightweight CERN account" online.  This will be required for uploading the talks before the final presentation on Tuesday 4 July.  More details about how to upload the talk will be provided later to the presenters. Please prepare the slides in PDF format.

Project descriptions

  1. Sources of cosmogenic neutrinos. You are a neutrino astronomer and just detected a diffuse flux of neutrinos from an unknown population of extragalactic sources. How would you identify this population of sources? For instance, how many neutrinos do you need to observe before you can claim the detection of a single neutrino source? Try to start from simple assumptions: a population of neutrino sources with the same luminosity and constant co-moving number density. How does your result depend on backgrounds?

  2. Annual modulation signals from dark matter. The annual modulation of the signal in direct detection experiments is one of the signatures of dark matter and it is largely assumed to have to be the same in all experiments observing the same dark matter component. Could it be that different experiments observing the same dark matter component could have different annual modulations and if so how could we know that they are observing the same dark matter particle or not?

  3. Complementarity of dark matter searches. Limits on WIMP cross sections coming from direct, indirect and collider dark matter searches, or two of the three, are often presented combined in a single plot by making several assumptions which are not immediately clear in the plot. Examine the different assumptions that must be made to combine these different limits and propose new ways to combined them into plots so as to make the smallest number of assumptions and/or to make the assumptions used immediately clear when seeing the plots.

  4. Measuring ultra-high energy cosmic rays. Direct measurements of fluxes and composition of charged cosmic rays in space at the "knee" have to deal with particle energies far beyond the reach of present magnetic spectrometers. The finite depth of calorimeters pose a question about the uncertainty on the energy scale determination due to shower leakage and to energy calibrations at accelerators (limited to a few hundred GeV).  Saturation of the response of TRD detectors around a Lorentz factor of the order of 10^5 is also a limitation. Evaluate the impact of the systematic error on the assessment of the energy scale at the PeV scale and elaborate on a conceptual design of an apparatus allowing for a double measurement of the energy using both a calorimeter and a TRD in order to cross-calibrate the two instruments up to the highest energies reachable by the TRD.

  5. N-body simulations. You will use Gadget - a widely used cosmological simulation code - to perform a cosmological simulation yourself on your laptop. The code, instructions on how to use it, and a sample cosmological simulation, can be found at http://wwwmpa.mpa-garching.mpg.de/gadget/ . Download the code, install it, and try to run the cosmological simulation example on your laptop. Once the simulation has been executed, you should do some basic analysis of the simulation output; e.g., plot the dark matter simulation particles to recover the cosmic web, find dark matter halos through a clustering algorithm of your choice, explore the density profiles of dark matter halos and fit an NFW profiles to it. Prepare plots of all your results that you can share and present.

  6. Design the next generation gamma-ray space mission. The Fermi Large Area Telescope has been a huge step forward in GeV gamma-ray astronomy, but it is in space already for 9 years and its mission will end within the next decade. Your task is to design its vastly superior successor to be launched in the 2030s. Discuss which aspect you want to focus on improving and why this is important for science, e.g. better sensitivity at GeV energies, better resolution at low (100 MeV) or high energies (100 GeV), shifting the observation window to lower (MeV) or higher (TeV) energies. Find a detector technology /combination of detectors that allow you to do that and create a rudimentary instrument design. Estimate the dimensions and the mass of the spacecraft and make it fit into an existing or planned launch system. What would be the price tag of your mission (1 kg of satellite corresponds to about 200.000$ in full mission costs) ? A good starting point for information about Fermi LAT is here: https://www-glast.stanford.edu/instrument.html

  7. Method development for SUSY scans. Devise a new method to accurately and efficiently map out the profile likelihood of Susy models in cases where the posterior distribution is prior dependent.

  8. Bayesian vs. Frequentist.  Determine a strategy to decide which quantity one should use (Bayesian posterior pdf or profile likelihood) to draw scientific conclusions about a model in cases where the two differ strongly and additionally the Bayesian posterior is prior dependent.

  9. Gamma rays from the center of the galaxy. HESS has detected gamma-rays from the Galactic Center, and the idea is that there's an underlying CR source there.  How can we know if Sgr A* is that source, now or in the past?

  10. Dark Matter at future colliders (compare e+e- machines and hadron machines, e.g. FCC-ee, FCC-hh, ILC, CLIC). Discuss which type of machine you would support, discuss the pros and cons with different DM scenarios.

  11. Supersymmetric Dark Matter and the MSSM. Make yourself familiar with Bino, Higgsino and Wino Dark Matter and LHC constraints.  Propose a model with a good spectrum derived using softsusy. The model should pass all the Dark Matter constraints. You check this by using  the darksusy program. Check if your model is excluded with high confidence level using www.susy-ai.com.  Propose which LHC searches would find your model in the future.

  12. Searching Dark matter with cosmic-ray positrons. Imagine that the positron flux is measured with 10% accuracy up to 5 TeV. A cut-off is measured with an exponential feature, whose characteristic energy is 2 TeV. Is that measurement sufficient to distinguish between a annihilating dark matter origin and a remnant star source? Would other measurements be helpful in the discrimination analysis?

  13. Cosmic-ray diffusion in the Galaxy. The models for propagation of cosmic rays usually describe a magnetic halo of 1-10 kpc size where charged particles diffuse. Which charged cosmic species, and in which energies, would you ask to measure in order to fix its size?

  14. A future MeV gamma-ray mission. Discussion is nowadays ongoing about the need of a low-energy gamma-ray instrument. What would be the main science goals of such a mission? Where and how would you look for dark matter signals below 1 MeV? Propose a DM model that would produce such signals.

  15. Searching Dark matter with gamma rays. Dark matter signals are likely significantly weaker than astrophysical backgrounds. What models can boost the annihilation/decay signal? Think about intensity of the signal, spectra and spatial distributions. What would make for a convincing discovery?


N-body simulations (Mark Vogelsberger)
  Nunez-Castineyra Arturo (LAM-CPPM)
  Sokolenko, Anastasia (University of Oslo)
  Semmelrock, Lukas (HEPHY, Vienna)
  luc hendriks (radboud university)
  Knirck, Stefan (Max-Planck-Institute for Physics, Munich)
  Armand Celine (CNRS (LAPTh))

Complementarity of dark matter searches (Graciela Gelmini)
  Scheibelhut,  Melanie  (Johannes Gutenberg - Universität Mainz )
  Michaels, Lisa (Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz)
  Emeline Queguiner (IPNL)
  Stahlberg, Martin (HEPHY)
  Miguel Campos (Max-Planck-Institu für Kernphysik)

Searching Dark matter with gamma rays (Francesca Calore)
  García Folgado, Miguel (IFIC-UV, CSIC)
  Axel Widmark (Stockholm University)
  Laletin Maxim (University of Liege)
  Korsmeier, Michael (University of Turin)
  Simone Ammazzalorso (University of Torino)
  chao zhang (university of Hamburg)

Gamma rays from the center of the galaxy (Sera Markoff)
  Negro Michela (University of Torino)
  Amid Nayerhoda (PAN)
  Rudolph, Annika (DESY)
  Domcek, Vladimir (UvA)
  Illuminati, Giulia (IFIC)

Cosmic-ray diffusion in the Galaxy (Fiorenza Donato)
  Skocpol, Stephen (API)
  Hiroshima, Nagisa (The University of Tokyo, KEK)
  McDaniel, Alex (University of California, Santa Cruz)
  van Dam, Kasper (Nikhef)
  Shang Li (Purple Mountain Observatory )
  Mingyang Cui (Nanjing University)

Bayesian vs. Frequentist (Roberto Trotta)
  Ziqing Xia (Purple Mountain Observatory)
  Kaikai Duan (Purple Montain Observatory)
  Centelles Chuliá Salvador (Ific valencia)
  Srivastava Rahul (Ific, Valencia)

Searching Dark matter with cosmic-ray positrons (Fiorenza Donato)
  Fiona panther (Australian national university)
  Mendez Isla, Miguel (University of Cape Town)
  Cichon, Dominick (Max-Planck-Institut für Kernphysic)
  Manconi Silvia (University of Torino and INFN Torino)

Design the next generation gamma-ray space mission (Markus Ackermann)
  Maria Munoz  (University of Geneva)
  Erik Hogenbirk (Nikhef)
  Luce Quentin (Institut de Physique Nucléaire d'Orsay)

Dark Matter at future colliders (Sascha Caron)
  de Swart, Jaco (University of Amsterdam)
  Hendricks, Khalida (The Ohio State University)
  Hufnagel, Marco (DESY Hamburg)

Supersymmetric Dark Matter and the MSSM (Sascha Caron)
  Mehra, Rahul (Universität Bonn, BCTP)
  Szczerbiak Paweł (University of Warsaw)
  Hajkarim, Fazlollah (University of Bonn, BCTP)
  Sanjay Bloor (Imperial College London)
  Bartels, Richard (UvA)

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