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REAL-time discovery strategies for DARK matter and dark sector signals at the ATLAS detector with Run-3 LHC data

Project description

Shining a light on dark matter processes with real-time analysis

Dark matter likely makes up more than a fourth of our universe, yet we have very little idea what it is. The most common view is that it is not ‘normal’ baryonic matter but instead is made of exotic particles. The EU-funded REALDARK project is laying the computational foundations that could help scientists detect rare processes involving dark matter in the ongoing ATLAS experiment at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. The real-time data processing techniques could help find dark matter candidates or, at the very least, significantly enhance our understanding of the particle nature of dark matter.


"The Standard Model of Particle Physics (SM) describes the fundamental particles and interactions of ordinary matter. Despite the SM's success in predicting experimental results, it fails to account for the large abundance of dark matter in the Universe.

Dark Matter (DM) particles could be created from collisions of SM particles, such as in the Large Hadron Collider, but storage and computing limitations mean that rare processes involving DM may be missed by current data-taking methods.

In REALDARK, I will consolidate my leadership in DM searches with innovative data-taking techniques in order to solve these problem for the ATLAS experiment. The technical innovations from this proposal will be widely disseminated, paving the way to advancements for future experiments.

Under my leadership, the REALDARK team will break the traditional paradigm of recording detector data and then analyzing it in separate steps, by deploying data processing in real-time so that far more collision data can be searched for rare processes.
We will enable new types of datasets from the upcoming LHC data-taking period and search them for new phenomena, motivated by theories of weakly interacting massive DM particle candidates and by ""dark"" sectors inaccessible to ordinary particles.

The proposed searches will yield either a discovery of dark matter candidates, to be studied in connection with astrophysical observations, or world-leading constraints on the particle nature of dark matter, focusing theoretical efforts and search targets for future experiments."


Net EU contribution
€ 1 999 777,00
Oxford road
M13 9PL Manchester
United Kingdom

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North West (England) Greater Manchester Manchester
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Other funding
€ 0,00

Beneficiaries (2)