Practice groups

Looking for the invisible: Searches for Dark Matter

winter term 2018/2019
Lecturer: Lindner Gastaldo Pachmayer Dunford
Link to LSF
18 participants

Fridays, 15:30 - 17:00, INF 227 SR 1.403

Astronomical and cosmological observations require the existence of dark matter in our universe. Today, Dark Matter is generally thought to have particle nature, where the dark matter particles have relatively long lifetimes, interact gravitationally and, possibly, also via the weak interaction.


In the Standard Model of particle physics, only neutrinos have the correct properties, but, due to their small mass, neutrinos can only account for a small fraction of the observed Dark Matter in our universe. In extended versions of the standard model sterile neutrinos, in particular keV-sterile neutrinos can contribute as warm dark matter candidates.


Light supersymmetric particles are an example for weakly interacting massive particles (WIMPs) which are candidates for cold dark matter. Other viable dark matter candidates are axions, which have been introduced to solve the strong CP-problem of QCD, or axion-like particles.

The seminar will address the astrophysical and cosmological evidences which led to the postulation of dark matter. It will discuss the most prominent dark matter candidates and the different direct and indirect methods to search for their existence. Particular emphasis is put on the determination of neutrino masses, the search for sterile neutrinos, WIMPS and axions.


Besides giving a presentation, active participation in the seminar and a report with length 10-12 pages (1 column layout) are necessary for a successful completion of the seminar.


  • Astronomical evidence of Dark matter
  • Cosmological evidence of Dark Matter (CMB and structure formation)
  • Theory motivation for dark matter as particle
  • Direct searches: high masses (XENON, ...)
  • Direct searches: Low masses (CRESST, ...)
  • Indirect searches: antiparticles (AMS and others)
  • Indirect searches photons: (Fermi-LAT, HESS, CTA, ATHENA,…)
  • Indirect searches: Neutrinos (Icecube, Km3NET)
  • Standard Model neutrinos and Dark Matter
  • Sterile neutrinos as Dark Matter
  • LHC searches
  • Axions and ALPs
  • GAIA data and dark matter
  • Modified gravity and black holes




Looking for the invisible: Searches for Dark Matter
winter term 2018/2019
Lindner Gastaldo Pachmayer Dunford
Link zum LSF
18 participants