Research Group 6

Particle Astrophysics

 

Group leader: Prof. Leszek Roszkowski

 

The Particle Astrophysics research group deals primarily with a wide range of physics questions, both theory and experiment. In line with the general agenda of Astrocent, the main areas of research are:

  • dark matter;
  • gravitational waves.

 Both areas address among the most fundamental questions in the field of particle astrophysics. There are strong arguments to believe that dark matter constitutes some 26% of mass-energy content of the Universe, compared with about 5% occupied by ordinary matter that the visible world around us is made of. It is generally assumed that dark matter is made up of some unknown weakly interacting massive particle (WIMP) which is stable. There are plenty of theoretical ideas and concrete candidates around and an impressive experimental search program for elusive WIMPs has been going on for a few decades now.

Astrocent aims to participate in both theoretical studies as well as in the experimental program by joining leading groups using liquid argon as target: DarkSide, DEAP and Global Liquid Argon Dark Matter projects.

Search for gravitational waves, following their historic discovery by LIGO in 2015 and 2016, and a Nobel Prize award in 2017, surged to the forefront of the field, both on the theory side and as one of the central directions of experimental activity. LIGO in the USA and Advanced Virgo in Europe have detected several events of gravitational waves generated by violent black hole pair mergers and neutron star coalescence. New experiments are coming online (Kagra) and are in the planning. Astrocent will participate in the future Einstein Telescope Project that is being discussed in Europe.

Physics related to both dark matter and gravitational waves constitutes a very wide and very active area of research that AstroCeNT’s Particle Astrophysics Group will engage into with our international and local collaborators.