The Stefan Meyer Institute for Subatomic Physics (www.oeaw.ac.at/smi) of the Austrian Academy of Sciences invites applications for a 3-year Ph.D. position. The successful candidate will join the New Frontiers Group ‘NoMoS’ of Dr. Gertrud Konrad. The NoMoS group aims to search for traces of new physics in neutron beta decay with novel experimental techniques (PoS(EPS-HEP2015)592).
Precision measurements in neutron decay allow searching for physics beyond the Standard Model. An accuracy of 10-4 in the observables corresponds to energy scales of 1 – 100 TeV for new particles and interactions; far above the production threshold at the LHC. To achieve this accuracy, a new technique is developed: R×B spectroscopy. An R×B spectrometer measures the momentum of charged particles by their drift in a circular magnetic field (arXiv:1209.6595). This precision method will be applied to determine several correlations between decay products in neutron decay.
For measurements at ultimate statistics, the R×B spectrometer will be installed at PERC, a new facility at the FRM II in Garching/Germany that collects electrons and protons from a large neutron decay volume (arXiv:0709.4440). A final goal is to measure or to set limits on the Fierz term. This term is zero in the Standard Model and has not yet been measured with neutrons. A non-zero value would indicate the existence of exotic scalar or tensor currents, resulting from the exchange of yet unknown charged Higgs bosons, sleptons, or leptoquarks.
The major goal of this Ph.D. project is to design, construct, and commission the R×B spectrometer, and to prepare, carry out, and analyze its first measurement with neutrons. The successful candidate will be integrated in an international collaboration and spend a considerable part of her/his time working abroad, at the Institut Laue-Langevin in Grenoble/France and the FRM II.
The position is available from September 1, 2016 or as soon as possible thereafter. The annual gross salary is based on the salary scale of the Austrian Science Fund (www.fwf.ac.at) and will be 28,631 € (Part time – 30 hours per week).
Applicants must hold a master (or equivalent) degree in experimental nuclear or particle physics at the time of appointment. Candidates are expected to have good experimental and programming skills, in particular in C++. Research experience in precision spectroscopy, charged particle detection, and/or low-energy physics is welcome. Good language skills (English and/or French) are helpful.
Candidates pass through the selection procedure of the Vienna Doctoral Program ‘Particles and Interactions’ (www.dkpi.at).
The current call for applications ends on January 6, 2017.
Candidates have to submit their application through the electronic application form (www.dkpi.at/application-form). In addition, copies of CV, master certificate, graded study records, a brief summary of previous research, and two letters of recommendation (including one from your master’s thesis supervisor) should be sent to Dr. Konrad (firstname.lastname@example.org).