Second School on Dark Matter and Neutrino Detection

July 8-19, 2024

São Paulo, Brazil



In recent years, Dark Matter detection has shifted from a pure astrophysics field to laboratory physics. Currently, several operating experiments are probing the parameter space of Dark Matter properties and a myriad of techniques are being proposed and tested. Another rapidly growing field in experimental physics is Neutrino Detection. Although several of their properties, such as neutrino oscillations, are well established, many unknowns remain. For instance, we still need to know the neutrino mass hierarchy, the theta_23 octant and the CP violation phase. Other fundamental properties remain to be tested, such as the coherent neutrino scattering at the lowest neutrino energies.

These two fields – Dark Matter and Neutrino Detection – are deeply connected. Most Dark Matter experiments rely on this particle though the weak interaction, such that neutrino detection methods have inspired many of the current Dark Matter experiments. Neutrinos are an unavoidable background for Dark Matter detection and upcoming experiments will soon reach the so-called neutrino floor. Also, sterile neutrinos are competitive Dark Matter candidates.

Despite their growing importance, in general, these two topics are very seldom discussed together in physics schools. The aim of the school is to introduce the students to the field of particle Dark Matter and Neutrino Detection, share the excitement on model building and detection methods, and prepare the next generation to contribute to this endeavor.

The school is composed of courses and lectures on advanced topics, with significant time for questions/discussions and practical hands-on activities. The labs which demonstrate techniques used in real experiments are a key part of the school. As far as we know, this is the only school worldwide with experimental labs covering both Dark Matter and Neutrino Detection.

The first week will take place in the IFT-UNESP auditorium and will give a general introduction to the fields of Dark Matter and neutrino physics with a more theoretical focus, providing the basis to address the detection methods. The second week will take place at the Principia Institute and will focus on detection techniques and specific experiments, with most of the afternoon dedicated to experimental work in small groups.

There is no registration fee and limited funds are available for travel and local expenses.

This activity will be preceded by the III Joint ICTP-SAIFR/ICTP-Trieste Summer School on Particle Physics from June 24 to July 5.

Local Organizing Committee:

  • Carla Bonifazi (ICAS-ICIFI-UNSAM, Argentina & IF-UFRJ, Brazil)
  • Edivaldo Moura Santos (IF-USP, Brazil)
  • Farinaldo Queiroz (IIP/UFRN, Brazil)
  • Martin Makler (CAS-ICIFI-UNSAM, Argentina & CBPF, Brazil)
  • Laura Palucci (UFABC, Brazil)

International Advisory Board:

  • Ivone Albuquerque (IF-USP, Brazil)
  • Luciano Pandola (LNS, Italy)
  • Kate Scholberg (Duke, USA)
  • Stephan Soldner-Rembold (Manchester, UK)
  • Andrew Sonneshein (Fermilab, USA)



Click HERE for online application

Application deadline: May 4, 2024

Lectures and Experiments

First week:

  • Graciela Gelmini (UCLA, USA): Dark Matter
  • Pedro Machado (FNAL, USA): Neutrino physics
  • Nicolás Bernal (New York University Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates): Dark Matter beyond WIMPs
  • Arman Esmaili (PUC-RJ, Brazil): Probing some Dark Matter scenarios with Neutrino detectors
  • Matheus Hostert (Harvard): Neutrinos Beyond the Standard Model

Second week:

  • Daniel Pershey (FSU, USA): Neutrino detection
  • Javier Tiffenberg (Fermilab, USA & UBA, Argentina): Dark Matter Detection

Laboratory and hands-on activities

  • Dario Rodrigues (UBA, Argentina): Sensitivity and exclusion limits for DM & Nu experiments
  • Franciole Marinho (ITA, Brazil): LAr experiment design using Monte Carlo simulations
  • Laura Paulucci (UFABC, Brazil): ARAPUCA 
  • Ana Botti (Fermilab, USA): Particle detection with a CMOS camera



Click HERE for online application

Application deadline: May 4, 2024


First week:

(at IFT/Unesp)

Second week:

(at Principia Institute)


This is not the final program, the schedule might be changed.


Additional Information


BOARDING PASS: All participants, whose travel has been provided or will be reimbursed by ICTP-SAIFR, should bring the boarding pass  upon registration. The return boarding pass (PDF, if online check-in, scan or picture, if physical) should be sent to by e-mail.

COVID-19: Brazilians and foreigners no longer have to present proof of vaccination before entering the country.

Visa information: Nationals from several countries in Latin America and Europe are exempt from tourist visa. Nationals from Australia, Canada and USA are exempt from tourist visa until April 10, 2024. Please check here which nationals need a tourist visa to enter Brazil.

Accommodation: Participants, whose accommodation will be provided by the institute, will stay at The Universe Flat. Hotel recommendations are available here.

How to reach the Institute: The first week of the school will be held at ICTP South American Institute, located at IFT-UNESP, which is across the street from a major bus and subway terminal (Terminal Barra Funda). The address which is closer to the entrance of the IFT-UNESP building is R. Jornalista Aloysio Biondi, 120 – Barra Funda, São Paulo. The easiest way to reach us is by subway or bus, please find instructions here.

How to reach the Principia Institute: The second week of the school will be held at Principia Institute of the Institute for Theoretical Physics Foundation, located at Rua Pamplona, 145.

Poster presentation: Participants who are presenting a poster MUST BRING A PRINTED BANNER . The banner size should be at most 1 m (width) x 1,5 m (length). We do not accept A4 or A3 paper. Click here to see what a banner looks like: