|laura baudis: research interests
|research interests: particle astrophysics and cosmology, in particular the domain of particle dark matter
dark matter: the nature of the matter holding our galaxy together is one of the great unresolved problems in science and several lines of evidence suggest that most of it might be non-baryonic. attractive candidates are slow thermal relics born in an early phase of the universe, also called wimps (weakly interactive massive particles). most extensions to the standard model of particle physics predict a wimp candidate, independently from cosmological considerations. two examples are the neutralino (the lightest supersymmetric particle) or the lightest kaluza-klein particle in theories with universal extra dimensions.
my present work concentrates on the direct detection of wimps with deep-underground, low-background experiments such as the XENON100 and XENON1T projects. i am the project coordinator for DARWIN, which is an ASPERA funded R&D and design study for a next-generation dark matter facility based on noble liquids.
neutrino physics: a question of relevance for both cosmology and particle physics is the nature and the mass scale of neutrinos. while neutrino oscillation experiments deliver strong evidence that neutrinos are massive, their absolute masses are still unknown. a sensitive tool to gain information about the majorana/dirac nature of neutrinos, and their absolute mass scale is neutrinoless double beta decay, an extremely rare nuclear decay process (half life > 1025 yr - much larger that the age of the universe) transforming two neutrons into two protons and two electrons.
my present work is focused on the detection of the neutrinoless double beta decay in 76-ge with the GERDA experiment at the gran sasso underground laboratory.
invisibles: i'm interested in the connection between theoretical predictions from particle physics, astrophysical observations and experiments, and i am part of invisibles, a new european ITN project focused on neutrinos and dark matter phenomenology (zurich node coordinator).