The 8 Seed Money Proposals for the Call 2022-2 will be presented in 10 min talks followed by 5 min discussions with the Selection Committee and interested guests.
Topic: Seed Monday Presentation Day, Wed, June 1, 2021, 10:00-12:00
Cluster Basement Seminar Room, Boltzmannstr. 2 (Hybrid)
Meeting ID: 620 9129 6955
Compartmentalization and up-concentration of prebiotic compounds on early Earth are a matter of hot debate in origin-of-life research. Liquid-liquid phase separation has been proposed as a simple mechanism to achieve these effects, yet methods for directly studying concentrations and dynamics of molecules within condensates remain unsatisfying. We are going to establish a new quantitative method for the analysis of interaction dynamics, molecular diffusion and surface binding of quasi-prebiotic molecules in phase separated systems by combining our expertise in FCS and biomolecular condensation. The newly developed approach may then be used by ORIGINS cluster members to quantitatively investigate the physical and chemical parameters of various phase separated dynamic compartments.
The ComPol mission will observe the polarization of X-rays emitted by Cygnus X-1, a black hole binary system in the Cygnus constellation. It will be part of a 3U CubeSat design, which in general is limited in size and power budget. However, to fulfill its scientific goal it requires high precision in determination of the satellite’s pointing direction. Instead of a ready-made off-the-shelf system, we plan to design and build a custom star tracker to satisfy ComPol’s demanding requirements, while keeping power consumption and volumetric footprint as low as possible. Custom development of such an optical system will not only reward the LRSM with a slim and power-efficient optical component, but also with valuable knowledge in the field of optical design and development for future projects. Performing the entire development from design to testing, including hardware and interfaces to the platform, we plan to validate the device on the upcoming mission IOV-1 on the International Space Station.
Energetic neutrinos provide a view into the underlying processes of astrophysical particle accelerators. Their weakly interacting nature means they can reach us from dense environments and vast distances, yet also make them challenging to detect. Current experiments use the Earth itself as a giant detector, instrumenting large volumes of ice or water with 3D grids of photomultiplier tubes (PMTs) to capture the secondary Cherenkov light produced by interactions of high-energy neutrinos. Detectors must be located in remote locations deep underwater or underground to reduce the impact of background signals, and triggers are used to reduce the data output to manageable rates that can be transferred to the surface for further analysis. We propose to explore the potential of fast, intelligent machine learning triggers that can be implemented on field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs). The goal is to make the most of the given hardware with improved discrimination of signal and background.
IAXO aims to detect solar axions, as they are converted into X-rays along a strong magnet pointing towards the sun. This detection could single-handedly resolve the strong CP problemand represent the first observation of a dark matter candidate in the laboratory. Excellent spectroscopic performance, high X-ray absorption efficiency at and below 10 keV and potential for low-background operations are features of SDDs that could facilitate this search. Following dedicated simulation work, we aim to build a passive-shielding background demonstrator able to achieve the stringent BabyIAXO-requirements, both during a first deep-underground operation at Canfranc and at the more challenging shallow site.
A discovery of solar axions with IAXO requires a level of background that is unprecedented at shallow depth. We propose a novel all-semiconductor active-shield detector that has the potential to tackle this challenge and bring deep-underground background performance to surface experiments. It consists of a single-pixel SDD operated inside a well-type HPGe detector. We apply for seed funding to procure a well-type HPGe detector, in order to prove this innovative concept. This application goes beyond our other seed proposal "TAXO demonstrator", which exploits a classical passive shield and is foreseen to be operated in Canfranc already this summer.
The new technology of ultrathin bent silicon based MAPS (Monolithic Active Pixel Sensors), stitched to a large area on a single wafer is one of the most exciting substantially new detector developments in the field of particle physics. We want to extend its applications also to nuclear physics as one of the key ingredients for our understanding of the origin of the heavy elements in the universe. Unprecedented tracking resolution at a minimum of space requirement will allow for substantially new quality of experiments for precision measurements. The seed funding will allow us a first step into the development chain of this devices. With the production of a substantial part of the readout electronics for the first prototypes we intend not only to significantly contribute to the ALICE experiment at the LHC, but also investigate the options for applications at lower energies.
We are currently implementing a novel measurement technique for fundamental precision measurements: the approach is based on a table-top scale electrostatic particle storage ring using a frozen spin technique with polarized ions or ionic molecules at 30 keV energy. This way, many different types of ions can be trapped, and also different types of physics can be addressed: (i) spinmatter coupling by e.g. axion-like particles with ultra-long wavelength or (ii) by using trapped ionic
molecules, electric dipole moment searches. Here we propose laser-spectroscopy to polarize Ba+ ions: Ba can serve as an electron polarized source. With this, the demonstrator setup can already serve to produce physics results by probing electron-axion couplings. While this is not our ultimate physics target, there is parameter space available to be covered with such an experiment, which is publishable at an early stage of the operation of the apparatus, while we advance the new technique.
One of the most energetic events in the Universe are core-collapse Supernovae (SNe), where almost all the star's binding energy is released as neutrinos. These particles are direct probes of the processes occurring in the stellar core and provide unique insights into the gravitational collapseand the neutrino properties. Currently, astroparticle physics is in need of SN observations and of a detection technique highly sensitive to all neutrino flavors. RES-NOVA is a newly proposed projectaiming at demonstrating the detection of astrophysical neutrino sources (e.g. Supernovae, Sun) with an observatory made from a highly segmented array of archaeological Pb-based cryogenic detectors, using Coherent Elastic neutrino-Nucleus Scattering (CEνNS) as detection channel. RESNOVA aims at becoming Europe's most sensitive neutrino telescope, able to detect neutrinos of all flavors produced in the Milky Way, providing exclusive information in astro-, particle- and nuclear physics.