Project level: PhD

Dark matter interacts extremely weakly with regular matter, but it does still interact enough to scatter of nuclei occasionally in many models. The Sun sits in bath of dark matter particles, with many of them passing through it every day. Some dark matter particles would scatter off a nucleus in the Sun, and lose enough energy to become gravitationally bound to it. They would then return on bound orbits, scatter again and again, losing more energy and sinking down to the core of the Sun. In many models, they would then annihilate with each other, producing a shower of energetic particles. Those particles would include neutrinos, which travel straight through the Sun, and can be detected here on Earth using neutrino telescopes such as IceCube, Super-Kamiokande and ANTARES. The first part of the project is to combine the results of these three neutrino telescopes, to produce one of the strongest probes of interactions between dark matter and nuclei to date. The second part is to determine the projected sensitivity of the next generation of neutrino telescopes (KM3NeT, IceCube Gen2/Pingu, Hyper-Kamiokande), in order to build an analysis framework that will allow all three experiments to combine their results, and collaborators involved in the GAMBIT project to combine the results with those from all other experiments.

Starting point: arxiv:1601.00653

Project members

Dr Pat Scott

ARC Future Fellowship
School of Mathematics and Physics