Computational modeling of Dark Matter-electron interactions
The research contained in this proposal addresses one of the most pressing open questions in modern physics: unveiling the nature of dark matter (DM) – our Universe’s invisible and unidentified mass component. It focuses on the computer simulation of DM particle scattering and production in underground detectors and electron beam dump experiments. We will apply methods from quantum field theory to model the interactions of DM in detector materials and develop computer programs to numerically calculate observable scattering and production rates. This research proposal will generate a set of theoretical predictions that will enable us to interpret the result of DM search experiments in terms of particle physics models.
Specifically, we plan to address two complementary high-profile research subjects; all of them heavily relying on state-of-the art numerical computations, namely: a) Simulating the production of DM particles in the collision between an electron beam and a tungsten target at the Light Dark Matter eXperiment (LDMX) with the MadGraph and MadEvent computer codes. b) Computing the response of germanium and silicon semiconductor crystals to DM- electron interactions by extending the currently available versions of the QEdark and Quantum ESPRESSO packages. Germanium and silicon semiconductor crystals are currently employed as target materials by state-of-the art ultra-low background underground detectors such as SuperCDMS and DAMIC. The software produced within this proposal will be made open access.
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- The Lars Hierta Memorial Foundation (Non Profit, Sweden)