PhD Research Project: DRIFT and CYGNUS - Searches for Dark Matter Particles with Directionality
Sheffield is a key player in the world-leading dark matter experiment DRIFT that is seeking a unique directional signal for Weakly Interacting Massive Particles (WIMPs), the favoured candidate to explain the missing dark matter of the Universe. DRIFT is merging with multiple groups around the world to form a new collaboration, CYGNUS that aims to produce a network of directional detectors with capability eventually to reach below the so-called neutrino floor and to provide a definitive signal to prove that WIMPs exist in the galaxy. The thesis project will focus on development of new detector R&D using optical and gas charge readout technology for CYGNUS plus operation of the working DRIFT II experiments, including analysis to search for dark matter candidates and development of new techniques for track reconstruction. DRIFT is sited at the UK’s new deep underground laboratory at Boulby. Collaborating countries in CYGNUS include China, Australia, USA, Italy and Japan. For CYGNUS there will be opportunity participate in tests with new devices at Boulby and sites across these countries.