Two collaborations with British researchers will investigate dark matter

Written by ICTP-SAIFR on May 16th, 2016. Posted in ICTP-SAIFR Blog

The proposals elaborated by UNESP and the Imperial College London were approved in a call published by FAPESP in the end of 2015 and will involve the fields of particle physics and astrophysics


Por Marcos Jorge – Assessoria de Comunicação e Imprensa/UNESP & Ricardo Aguiar

UNESP and the Imperial College London will collaborate on projects that will investigate dark matter from two different perspectives: particle physics and cosmology and astrophysics. The proposals were submitted on a call published by the Sao Paulo Research Agency (Fapesp) aiming to promote the engagement of local researchers with international partners.

The SPRINT (São Paulo Researchers in International Collaboration) Program provides funding for the initial phase of international research collaborations with clear expectations that the next phase brings a presentation, by the researchers from the State of São Paulo, of research proposals in the regular funding lines of FAPESP aiming to continue the research started under SPRINT and consequently the consolidation of the partnership.

One of the granted researchers is Fabio Iocco, from UNESP’s Institute of Theoretical Physics. He will partner with professor Roberto Trotta on a project that will apply Bayesian statistics to the data already collected in order to understand the distribution of the dark matter in the Milk Way.

In 2015, Iocco published an article on Nature Physics where his team demonstrated the existence of dark matter in the inner Galaxy, but without making any assumption about its distribution.

Particle Physics
The second project, coordinated by professor Sergio Novaes, involves the São Paulo Research and Analysis Center (SPRACE), located in the campus of Sao Paulo. The SPRACE project was implemented in 2003 to provide the necessary means for the participation of high energy physics researchers from the State of São Paulo in particle acceleration such as the Tevatron, at Fermilab, and the Large Hadron Collider, at CERN.

The collaboration with professor Oliver Buchmuleler, from the Imperial College London, is part of the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment, one of two large general-purpose particle physics detectors built on the Large Hadron Collider (LHC).

The team will use the LHC structure to seek for the first non-cosmologic evidences of the dark matter, to see if it is really made up of subatomic particles. To this date, all the particles we know are found in the Standard Model, but none of the theories can explain dark matter. The experiments will look for new particles that may be responsible for formation of dark matter.

Fabio Iocco:
Sergio Novaes: