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Search for Axion-Like Particles at the LHC

Descrizione del progetto

La ricerca delle particelle assioni entra nel vivo

Le particelle assioni e simil-assioni (ALP, axion-like particles) sono ipotetiche particelle elementari molto motivate a livello teorico: le ALP possono risolvere il grande problema della simmetria CP, agire come candidato a materia oscura e spiegare altresì la famosa anomalia del muone (g-2). Gli sforzi sperimentali per cercare ALP come candidati a materia oscura sono in corso e si sono intensificati negli ultimi anni. Tuttavia, nessuno di questi esperimenti è sensibile alle ALP in grado di spiegare le anomalie a bassa energia come le (g-2). Il progetto LightAtLHC, finanziato dall’UE, sperimenterà approcci di ricerca alternativi per individuare ALP utilizzando i dati raccolti dal Large Hadron Collider (grande anello di collisione per adroni). Se si rivelerà vincente, i ricercatori del progetto escluderanno i modelli ALP più promettenti in una grossa gamma da 10 MeV a 1 TeV oppure scopriranno una nuova particella elementare.

Obiettivo

Axions and other very light axion-like particles (ALPs) appear in many extensions of the Standard Model and are well motivated theoretically: ALPs can solve the well-known strong CP problem, act as a dark matter candidate and could also explain the famous muon (g-2) discrepancy. The experimental effort to search for ALPs as dark matter candidates is ongoing and has been considerably intensified in recent years, leading to the proposal and construction of a wide range of dedicated experiments. However, none of these dedicated experiments is sensitive to those ALPs that can explain low-energy anomalies such as (g-2). I propose therefore to pioneer an alternative search strategy for axion-like particles via their decay into two photons, using data collected at the Large Hadron Collider. This approach requires fundamental innovations on the photon identification capabilities of the current detectors as well as radically new analysis strategies.

Within the LightAtLHC project, I will study proton-proton and lead-lead collisions, collected during LHC Run-3, and search for Higgs Boson decays in two ALPs as well as the direct production of ALPs via photon fusion and their subsequent decay into two low-energy photons. To achieve the required sensitivity, I will develop highly specialized photon reconstruction algorithms for the ATLAS detector.
These efforts will largely cover the relevant parameter space, leaving out only a small region. To also close this gap, I will extend the upcoming FASER experiment at the LHC by an innovative presampler detector, which allows for an unambiguous ALPs detection. By the end of the LightAtLHC project, I can either rule out the most promising ALP models in a mass range from 10 MeV to 1 TeV, or discover a new elementary particle.

Meccanismo di finanziamento

ERC-COG - Consolidator Grant

Istituzione ospitante

JOHANNES GUTENBERG-UNIVERSITAT MAINZ
Contribution nette de l'UE
€ 1 572 500,00
Indirizzo
SAARSTRASSE 21
55122 Mainz
Germania

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Regione
Rheinland-Pfalz Rheinhessen-Pfalz Mainz, Kreisfreie Stadt
Tipo di attività
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Collegamenti
Costo totale
€ 1 572 500,00

Beneficiari (1)