Master/Bachelor Theses in NuDoubt++

Neutrino physics is a field dedicated to studying the characteristics of lightweight, electrically neutral particles with fascinating properties. Due to their only weak interactions, detecting neutrinos is challenging, but their study provides valuable insights into quantum mechanical processes, physics beyond the standard model, and astrophysical phenomena, such as stellar processes and the early universe.

Of particular interest in neutrino physics are searches for neutrinoless double beta decays, which would imply that neutrinos could be their own antimatter particles. Moreover, this could show that neutrino masses are not generated purely via the Higgs mechanism as it is the case for all other elementary particles. In Mainz we established the NuDoubt++ project, were we are following a novel detector approach that could allow us to discover neutrinoless and/or neutrino-involving double beta plus decays, which both have never been observed before.

The three master/bachelor theses will be conducted within the AGs Böser, Weber and/or Wurm in Mainz. The groups are actively involved in neutrino experiments like IceCube, DUNE, T2K, Project 8, JUNO, ANNIE, AM-OTech/CLOUD and NuDoubt++.

The first thesis will focus on a novel detection approach for neutrinos using opaque scintillators, which is used in NuDoubt++ and also shows great potential in fundamental and applied neutrino physics, as well as medical physics. Goal of the thesis will be the simulation and reconstruction of various particles types using a novel approach based on the topology of energy depositions in the opaque medium.

The second thesis will be concerned with the loading of scintillator with krypton. Krypton has one of only a few isotopes in nature that can undergo positive double beta decays. The goal of the thesis will be the precise determination of the abundance this krypton isotope in our krypton gas and the final amount of loaded krypton in a small prototype detector cell.

The objective of the third thesis will be the development of a small prototype setup dedicated to the collection of scintillation light. Such scintillation light will be produced by double beta decays later in the full-scale detector. Of special interest will be the capture of scintillation light through novel highly effective light collectors invented in Mainz, as well as the coupling of these light collectors to SiPM photosensors.

Contact: Dr. Stefan Schoppmann