Purdue University, Department of Physics & Astronomy

Position ID:Purdue-Department of Physics & Astronomy-PD [#20732]
Position Title: Direct Dark Matter Detection Post Doc
Position Type:Postdoctoral
Position Location:West Lafayette, Indiana 47907, United States [map]
Subject Area: Physics / Dark Matter
Appl Deadline:2022/01/07 11:59PMhelp popup (accepting applications posted 2021/12/07, listed until 2022/06/07)
Position Description:    

The dark matter group at Purdue University invites applications for a post-doctoral position in experimental direct dark matter detection using the XENONnT or Windchime experiments.

The XENONnT detector is currently taking data to improve over existing limits by at least an order of magnitude. At Purdue, we are in particular interested in using this data to achieve a first measurement of solar boron-8 neutrinos via coherent neutrino-nucleus scattering, and to search for signals from unconventional dark matter models such as Planck-mass particles. We also work to improve the SNEWS network to be optimally prepared for the next Galactic supernova event. Using our own liquid xenon TPC at Purdue, we investigate the hardware-based mitigation of delayed electron backgrounds. Related questions concern the calibration of large-scale liquid noble gas detectors and strategies for the reduction of backgrounds in particular as they are relevant for a next-generation DARWIN/G3 experiment.

With the Windchime collaboration, we are exploring an entirely novel approach of terrestrially detecting dark matter through gravitational interaction alone as it passes through an array of sensitive accelerometers. This project integrates quantum sensors with particle detection techniques, using dedicated accelerometers that are read out by quantum-enhanced methods. Initial work includes the characterization of sensitivity as function of the various experimental design parameters, and data taking with an initial prototype experiment using commercial accelerometers. We are commissioning first custom-made accelerometers, and strategies to improve the signal/noise such as squeezed light and quantum back-action evasion. A current data analysis challenge is to identify faint tracks in time-series data from a large array of sensors.

The appointee should play a leading role in some of these efforts, and significant opportunities for career development exist. A PhD in physics or a related field is required. Experience with data analysis, dark matter search experiments and low-background techniques, Monte Carlo simulations, or experimental quantum-optics will be advantageous.

The Purdue group strongly values different backgrounds and experiences and are therefore looking for a candidate that reflects the diversity of the graduate student and postdoctoral population. Applicants from underrepresented groups are especially encouraged to apply. Applicants should enjoy working as part of an international team with researchers at all levels and from various backgrounds.

Questions regarding this position should be directed to Prof. Rafael Lang at rafael@purdue.edu. Applicants should provide a statement of prior expertise and their research interests at Purdue, a curriculum vitae with a list of publications, and arrange for at least two letters of reference to be sent directly. The position is open until filled with a flexible starting date to be agreed upon. Purdue University is an Equal Opportunity Affirmative Action Employer fully committed to achieving a diverse workforce. Contact: Rafael Lang (rafael@purdue.edu) Letters of Reference should be sent to: rafael@purdue.edu More Information: http://www.darkmatter.org

Application Materials Required:
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Further Info:
525 Northwestern Ave.
West Lafayette, IN 47907