End-of-Master projects

This link points to detailed information abouot the MSc grants offered to students of official masters related to the activities of our Unit, in which they intend to execute their end-of-master project.

Find below the list of End-of-Master projects offered by the CFP Unit, along with a short description and a list of contact persons.

Analysis of neutrino oscillations with the Double Chooz experiment

Dra. Inés Gil Botella (CIEMAT), Dra. Carmen Palomares Espiga (CIEMAT)
Double Chooz is a neutrino oscillation experiment that measures the disappearance of antineutrinos produced at the Chooz nuclear power plant, in France, using two detectors placed at different distances from the nuclear reactors. In November 2011 Double Chooz carried out the first measurement of the mixing angle θ13 , previously unknown, with a single detector and is currently taking data with both detectors, which will allow to drastically improve the precision of this measurements in the coming years. In this End-of-Master project we propose to analyse the data collected by this experiment and to study the oscillations of neutrinos from the nuclear plant. This study will require performing an event selection capable of identifying the signal produced by neutrinos in the detector from background events.

Light collection studies in the WA105 neutrino experiment

Dra. Inés Gil Botella (CIEMAT), Dra. Carmen Palomares Espiga (CIEMAT)
Future neutrino experiments like DUNE in Fermilab (USA), whose main goal is to measure the CP symmetry violation in the leptonic sector, will consist of liquid Argon TPC detectors exposed to neutrino beams. In this context, WA105 is a 300 ton prototype being built at CERN that will be exposed to charged particles beams (resulting from the neutrino interactions). The neutrino group at CIEMAT is responsible for the scintillation light collection system of that detector, which comprises a set of large photomultipliers operating at cryogenic temperatures. The tasks proposed in this End-of-Master project include the study and characterization of these photomultipliers in the laboratory, the simulation of the processes that will take place in the detector and the study of their scintillation signal.

Dark Matter searches with underground argon experiments

Dr. Roberto Santorelli (CIEMAT), Dr. Luciano Romero Barajas (CIEMAT), Dr. Pablo García Abia (CIEMAT)
The nature of the Dark Matter is widely recognized as one of the most important questions still open in modern physics. Multiple observations suggest that only less than 16% of the matter component of the universe is made out of ordinary matter, while the largest contribution is given by non-baryonic and non-luminous matter which manifests its presence through gravitational effects. A possible explanation for the Dark Matter problem lies in the existence of weakly interacting massive particles called WIMPs, relic from the Big Bang. There are several worldwide efforts on-going, typically carried out in underground laboratories, searching for the tiny signals produced by the WIMP interactions. The aim of the ArMD experiment, installed in the Canfranc Laboratory under the Pyrenees mountains, is to detect WIMPs with an electroluminescent time projection chamber filled with a ton of liquid argon. The goal of the master thesis is to contribute to the analysis of the data currently being taken by the experiment, verifying the performances of the liquid argon detector and the rejection power of the background events, ultimately contributing to the search of the dark matter signal.

Development of new double phase argon detectors for Dark Matter direct searches

Dr. Roberto Santorelli (CIEMAT), Dr. Luciano Romero Barajas (CIEMAT), Dr. Pablo García Abia (CIEMAT)
The direct search of weakly interacting massive particles (WIMPs) is one of the most challenging topics for the future underground experiments. The discovery of those particles could explain the nature of the Dark Matter which is one of the fundamental problems still unanswered in modern physics. If the WIMPs exist, they may produce nuclear recoils via weak interactions in an energy range from few up to 100 keV. The detection limits, set by the experiments currently taking data, puts very stringent requirements for the new generation of detectors in terms of background rejection and sensitivity. Experiments based on noble elements, like argon or xenon electroluminescent time projection chambers, offer the best prospects for detectors with low energy threshold, large mass and excellent background discrimination capabilities necessary for this research. The proposed work is focused on the construction of a high pressure argon/xenon prototype for future Dark Matter and rare event searches. The activity includes both hardware developments, with the design of the electronics and data acquisition systems, as well as the analysis of data taken in the laboratory.

Measurement of the two-W vector boson production cross section in proton-proton collisions at sqrt(s)=13 TeV with data of the CMS experiment at LHC (CERN)

Dra. Isabel Josa Mutuberría (CIEMAT)
The diboson production, WW, WZ or ZZ, is a key process to study in detail the electroweak sector of the standard model (SM). Any deviation with respect to the SM predictions would indicate new physics signals. Direct production of two W bosons is also the most important background to the Higgs boson studies, when investigated in the decay channel H→WW. This project aims at measuring the cross section of WW diboson production in proton-proton collisions at a 13 TeV centre-of-mass energy, using CERN's LHC pp collision data collected with the CMS experiment in 2016.

Study of bottom and charm quarks identification algorithms (b,c-tagging) with the CMS detector at LHC

Dr. Juan Pablo Fernández Ramos (CIEMAT)
Identification of particle showers (jets) originating in the hadronization of bottom and charm quarks is important in the search of new physics and to study standard model processes. That is why the CMS experiment at LHC (CERN) has developed a great variety of algorithms that exploit the properties of the jets coming from the decay of bottom quarks to differentiate them from those stemming in charm quarks decay and, in addition, to differentiate these from the hadronization of gluon and light quarks jests (up, down, strange). The performance of these algorithms will be studied in proton-proton collision at the LHC at 13 TeV centre-of-mass energy, and the results will be compared to Monte Carlo simulations.

Studies of the muon detector of the CMS experiment at LHC

Dra. Mª Cruz Fouz Iglesias (CIEMAT)
In this project data collected at CERN with the CMS detector will be analysed. The muons detected will be used to study various aspects of the muon detector performance, related to its efficiency, resolution. trigger, and so on.

Study of cosmic ray propagation models with AMS

Dr. Carlos Mañá Barrera (CIEMAT), Dr. Jorge Casaus Armentano (CIEMAT)
After more than 5 years of operation on the International Space Station, the magnetic spectrometer AMS-02 has performed measurements of the cosmic ray electrons, positrons, protons, antiprotons and helium fluxes up to TeV energies. The deviations observed in all these species with respect to the accepted production and propagation models may indicate the presence of new mechanisms or new physics related to the nature of dark matter in the galaxy. New measurements of AMS-02 in other channels, like the ratio boron over carbon, or the light isotopes ratios, will provide a set of data large enough to significantly reduce the uncertainties associated to the cosmic ray production and propagation models. The goal of this project is to evaluate the impact expected from the new AMS-02 measurements.

Study of a calorimeter for the direct detection of cosmic rays with energies up to 1 PeV

Dr. Javier Berdugo Pérez (CIEMAT), Dr. Jorge Casaus Armentano (CIEMAT)
The direct measurement of the energy spectrum of the most abundant species in cosmic rays (protons, helium, electrons) displays structures incompatible with a pure power-law distribution. These observations point to the existence of production and propagation mechanisms not foreseen in the current models and may indicate the presence of new physics. In order to discriminate among the various possibilities, it is necessary to extend the energy range of the precision measurements performed in space platforms beyond the TeV. Given the low rate expected at these energies, it will be necessary to have instruments with a large effective area. Calocube is a calorimeter proposed to perform precision measurements of cosmic rays of energies up to the PeV. The goal of this projects is to evaluate the requirements necessary to carry out such measurements and to validate the proposed design by analysing the data collected with a prototype of the calorimeter in the test particle beam at CERN.

Evaluation of the characteristic X-ray emission of main sequence stars

Dra. Mercedes Mollá Lorente (CIEMAT), Dr. Yago Ascasibar (UAM), Martin Stuhlinger (ESAC)
X-ray observations of the universe reveal the final stages of stellar evolution, often referred to as the violent universe, and space-based X-ray observatories like ESA's XMM-Newton dedicate plenty of time to these kind of special objects. But galaxies mainly consist out of main sequence stars like our sun, and therefore it is important to understand what is the average X-ray emission of the various spectral types of these main sequence stars. XMM-Newton's EPIC instrument, thanks to its wide field-of-view (comparable to the full moon), has observed many field stars of our Milky Way, despite these were not the dedicated main targets. As the spatial resolution of the X-ray telescopes is less powerful compared to their optical counterparts, the Milky Way areas with high star density can't be included because of possible superposition. As main sequence stars are rather weak X-ray sources, the flux limit will reduce the available stars to a restricted volume around the sun. Also, no other background X-ray source emission must influence the stellar spectra. In order to successfully carry out this project, the student will have to:

  • generate a valid stellar sample by cross-correlating the EPIC source catalogue with other publicly-available databases (specially GAIA).
  • determine the available volume where stars can be detected in X-rays.
  • extract X-ray data from the world's most powerful X-ray telescopes.
  • identify chance coincidences with background sources like AGN.
  • model the final merged X-ray spectra.
This project involves close collaboration between the UAM and ESAC.

The origin of galactic positrons

Dra. Mercedes Mollá Lorente (CIEMAT), Dr. Yago Ascasibar (UAM)
In spite of the first detection of positron in the centre of the Milky Way dating back to the beginning of the 60's last century, the origin of these particles is still surrounded by mystery. The goal of the End-of-Master project is to collect relevant experimental data (in particular, sky maps at different frequencies, as well as additional information about the matter and energy distribution in the galaxy) to reconstruct the (space and energy) distribution of relativistic electron and positron populations, to compare it with theoretical models and to try to obtain information on their origin. Phases:

  • Bibliographic review of existing studies on this topic,
  • Collect sky maps at different frequencies,
  • Calculate 3-dimensional maps of our galaxy from the observed maps,
  • Reconstruct the matter and radiation distribution in the Milky Way,
  • Reconstruct the space and energy distribution of relativistic electron and positron populations,
  • Analyse the results and compare them with theoretical modes to obtain information on their origin.

The role of dust in chemical evolution models

Dra. Mercedes Mollá Lorente (CIEMAT)
The light emitted by stars is absorbed by dust specks and then re-emitted in the infrared. These dust specks are produced in supernoave explosions and AGB stars, that is, in stellar death processes. From the works by Valiante & Schneider (2007) and Zhukovska (2008) we will try to obtain dust production tables for different stellar masses and metallicities, so that they can be then included in chemical evolution models to calculate the census of dust present in a galaxy or region of space. Phases:

  • Bibliographic review of existing studies on this topic,
  • Obtaining AGB stars dust tables for various metallicities,
  • Obtaining type II supernove dust tables for various metallicities,
  • Normalization to the same metallicities,
  • Include them in chemical evolution models for a stellar population with a given metallicity,
  • Include them in chemical evolution models with a given stellar formation history,
  • Example case: Milky Way, analysis of the result.

Relation of the N/O abundances with the Stellar Formation Rate (SFR)

Dra. Mercedes Mollá Lorente (CIEMAT), Dr. Enrique Pérez-Montero (IAA-CSIC)
The relation of the elementary abundances with the stellar formation history is well known through the Mass-Metallicity relation (Lequeux, 1979; Tremonti et al. 2004), although it is debated whether a direct relation of the abundances with the stellar formation rate also exists (Lara-López, 2010; Manucci et al, 2010; Sánchez et al. 2013; Salim etal. 2014). In reality, the stellar formation history is transmitted with time in different abundances, but there are also differences with distinct elements, as O is ejected by massive stars, while N is ejected by medium mass stars, therefore the relations of the abundances, 12+log(O/H) y log(N/O), with SFR will be different, being the relation with SFR probably the most evident to study N. In fact, Molla et al. (2006) studied the relation of N/O with O/H and noticed that the evolutive histories were determined in the position of each object in the N/O--O/H plane. The aim of this project is to perform a similar study with the new chemical evolution models of Mollá et al. (2016, in preparation), comparing with the cartographic data of N/O and SFR obtained by CALIFA (Perez-Montero et al. 2016). Phases:

  • Bibliographic review of the M*-Z and M*-N/O relations,
  • Obtaining the same relation in the Mollá & Díaz (2005) and Mollá et al. (2016, in preparation) models,
  • Study of the N/O-O/H plane and its relation to SFR and sSFR,
  • Comparison of the CALIFA data with the models.

Study of the M*/L ratio in galaxy evolutive models

Dra. Mercedes Mollá Lorente (CIEMAT)
The ratio of the stellar mass and the emission luminosity of a given star population is a magnitude commonly used to quickly obtain that mass. This way Bell & de Jong (2001) gave an empiric relation to obtain M* from the magnitude in B and the color B-V. This project aims at making similar estimates from the models of chemical evolution by Mollá et al. (2016, in preparation) and to compare them with other models, like those of evolutive synthesis PopStar, (Mollá et al. 2009), and other works in the literature, analysing in particular the dependence with the initial mass function (IMF). Phases:

  • Bibliographic review of existing studies on this topic,
  • Obtaining the M*-magnitude relation in various bands and for different IMFs with evolutive synthesis models PopStar,
  • Obtaining the same relations with models of chemical evolution applicable to spiral galaxies (Mollá & Díaz 2005; Mollá et al. 2014),
  • Estimate transformation equations from some IMFs to others.