Press Releases and News

Sensitivity record in the search for dark matter

XENON1T sets new limits for "WIMPs" - Mainz scientists are among the founding members of the XENON program for the search for dark matter

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University press release
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On May 28th, Prof. Elena Aprile from Columbia University, spokeswoman for the XENON collaboration, and Prof. Manfred Lindner from the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics in lectures at LNGS and CERN present the latest results of XENON1T, the world's largest and most sensitive detector for the direct search for dark matter in the form of WIMPs (weakly interacting massive particles). The extensive data set of 1 ton × year agrees with the expectation for the background, thus setting the strongest limit for spin-independent interaction of WIMPs with normal matter for a WIMP mass of more than 6 GeV / c². These results show that WIMPs - if they are indeed the dark matter particle - produce such a rare signal that even the largest and most sensitive detector built so far can not detect it.

XENON1T continues to collect data until the larger version of the detector currently being prepared is ready for use, for which most components are already designed. With three times more xenon in the time-projection chamber and ten times lower background rate, XENONnT will launch a new phase of dark matter particle search beginning in 2019.

Prof. Dr. Uwe Oberlack from the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz is one of the founding members of the XENON program on the search for dark matter. The Mainz working group is involved in the XENON experiments in both data analysis and simulations as well as detector technology. Mainz astroparticle physicists are responsible for the muon detector and are involved in the ReStoX xenon storage system and the inner detector. In order to make another leap in sensitivity in the next step with the XENONnT experiment, the group is working on the development of a subdetector for the detection of neutrons. The research is also part of the Cluster of Excellence PRISMA, which is funded by the "Exzellenzinitiative des Bundes und der Länder".
(Plot XENON collaboration)

EU funding for four outstanding junior researchers at the JGU

Individual EU research fellowships in the Marie Skłodowska-Curie program support new projects in the fields of physics and paleogenomics

original press release

Four young scientists from abroad will receive new research projects at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) with the support of the EU. One of them, Dr. Peter Berta is a member of our group and will conduct research in the field of Higgs boson physics. The funding is provided by individual EU research grants in the Marie Skłodowska-Curie program - a high honor for the beneficiaries. The EU supports the outstanding young researchers for a total of € 650,000 over a period of 24 months.

With the discovery of the Higgs boson in the summer of 2012 at the CERN research center, the question of the mechanism that gives elementary particles a mass has been clarified. However, many new questions about the properties of the Higgs boson itself have surfaced. Dr. Peter Berta is working in the group of Prof. Dr. Lucia Masetti on the interaction between the Higgs boson and the top quark, which can be measured in proton-proton collisions at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, with the ATLAS experiment. If the measurement deviates from the Standard Model of particle physics, it would indicate new phenomena that could answer many unanswered questions about the fundamental interactions. Peter Berta, born in Slovakia, completed his doctorate at the Charles-University in the Czech Republic and has been working with the ATLAS experiment since 2012. He has been working as a postdoctoral fellow at JGU since March 2017.
(Photo: Cornelia Kirch)

The 2018 data-taking run at the LHC has begun

On Saturday, 28 April 2018, the operators of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) successfully injected 1200 bunches of protons into the machine and collided them. This formally marks the beginning of the LHC’s 2018 physics season. The start of the physics run comes a few days ahead of schedule, continuing the LHC’s impressive re-awakening since the end of its annual winter hibernation just over a month ago.

original press release
(Photo:ATLAS/CERN)

First LHC test collisions of 2018

Proton slamming has resumed at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). Almost a fortnight after the collider began circulating proton beams for the first time in 2018, the machine’s operations team has today steered beams into collision. While these are only test collisions, they are an essential step along the way to serious data taking, which is expected to kick off in early May.

original press release
(Image:CERN)

Beams are back in the LHC

On Friday 30 March, at 12:17 pm, protons circulated in the 27-km LHC ring for the first time in 2018. The Large Hadron Collider entered its seventh year of data taking and its fourth year at 13 TeV collision energy.

original press release
(Image:CERN)

CALICE collaboration meeting in Mainz

The ETAP CALICE group is hosting the CALICE collaboration meeting in the halls of the "Alte Mensa". Around 50 physicists from around the world are expected to present and discuss the latest developments for the detectors for a future linear collider within the collaboration.