Undergraduate Summer Research

We would like to invite undergraduate students to work with us for the Summer Research program. Our group should be able to host at least 2
undergraduate students. Below is a brief description of our group, our research, and some possible projects for prospective undergraduate

Our group focuses on research on Dark Matter and Neutrinos. We are currently part of two dark matter direct detection experiments, LUX and LUX-ZEPLIN (LZ). LUX has been the most sensitive dark matter direct detection experiment in the world since 2013, running a 370 kg liquid xenon TPC in the Sanford Underground Research Facility (SURF) in Lead, SD. It has recently ceased operations to make way for the construction of LZ, but analysis of its trove of science data is still ongoing, with a number of interesting projects still available. LZ is a next ­generation experiment that will be at least 100 times more sensitive than its predecessor. The LZ experiment is constructing a detector with ~7 tonnes of liquid Xe, and will be deployed inside the same water shield used by LUX at SURF. We are also part of Project 8, an experiment that seeks to determine the neutrino mass via the precise measurement of the electron energy in beta decays. The Project 8 collaboration has developed and demonstrated the viability of a novel technique called Cyclotron Radiation Emission Spectroscopy (CRES), which allows single electron detection and characterization through the measurement of cyclotron radiation emitted by magnetically-trapped electrons produced by a gaseous radioactive source.

Some possible projects would be:

  • Characterization of the electronics chain for Project 8 signal acquisition
  • Development of signal reconstruction software and track identification algorithms for Project 8
  • Assembly of thermosyphon system for cryogenics R&D platform at Penn State lab (with applications to LZ design)
  • Construction and commissioning of Radon screening system for LZ at the Penn State lab
  • Development of software for estimating dark matter sensitivity using Profile Likelihood Ratio method for LZ
  • Assisting on general assembly and setup of the new labs for Dark Matter and Neutrinos research.

Students who might be interested should apply to the PSU Physics REU program by March 1st – more information available at http://sites.psu.edu/physicsreu/.  Please send a copy of an updated resume/CV and your PSU undergraduate transcript (an unofficial one is fine, available through LionPATH) to ldeviveiros@psu.edu.



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