Looking for the invisible Universe: Dark Matter and Neutrinos; Theoretical dark matter and neutrino physics

summer term 2021
Lecturer: Dunford Gastaldo Goertz Lindner
Link to LSF
10 participants


Change in starting time:

our seminar lecture will start at 15:45

First meeting on Friday the 16th of April at 15:45



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.

We envisage for each topic two talks: one introducing the argument from a theoretical point of view and a second one describing experiments which have been developed for addressing the discussed topic. We aim of having the two talks presented on the same day so that the participants can get a complete overview on the argument. In the following, the combined talks which will be covered over the semester are listed in an order which we think better allows for gaining a good overview.



DM candidates I                                     DM in the Universe

DM production early universe                Indirect searches

DM candidates II                                    Direct searches

DM models for colliders                          LHC searches

Cosmology                                             CMB measurements

Primordial black holes                           Microlensing



Axion motivation                                   Helioscope/LSW

Axion DM                                              Haloscopes



Neutrino mass                                       Kinematic searches

Neutrino mass (LNV)                             Double beta decay

Oscillations (theo)                                 Oscillations (Exp)

High energy cosmic neutrinos               Icecube

Coherent scattering                               CEvNS searches



Motivations                                            Experimental searches


The topics written in italics are optional while the other should be covered within the semester. Typically several experiments exist which address a physics question. The experimental talk could describe one of those experiments or in special cases present a comparison on different approaches. The students preparing the "theoretical" and "experimental" talk will work together so that the two presentations complete each other.

The first lecture will be dedicated to attributing topics for the seminars to the students. We would like to start having two talks on the second week. Because of that, we would like to ask if there are two students which are interested to present the talks about the astronomical observation of the presence of Dark Matter in our Universe and about which new particles could be possible Dark Matter candidates. To reserve these two talks, a mail to lecturers team should be sent as soon as possible so that the required material for the preparation of the seminars can be discussed.


Remark on  the grading:

For the grading the scientific quality, the didactic presentation and the writeup each count one third.

Practice groups

Looking for the invisible Universe: Dark Matter and Neutrinos; Theoretical dark matter and neutrino physics
summer term 2021
Dunford Gastaldo Goertz Lindner
Link zum LSF
10 participants