September 25, 2023 to October 6, 2023
Europe/Rome timezone

Hands-On activities

1) Data analysis and interpretation of UHECR measurements by the Pierre Auger Observatory

Experimental framework: AUGER

Field: Cosmic Rays

Location: External Ground Labs

Activity description: a) In the first week the students will be able to reproduce existing measurements of the Pierre Auger Collaboration.  The activity will be focused on the use of a subset of real data from the Pierre Auger Observatory. Analyses will be developed in terms of selection cuts depending on energy, direction, and other characteristics of the primary particle in the shower as reconstructed from the real measurements. b) In the second week the students will be led to compare theoretical predictions of the energy spectrum with experimental data. In particular, the activity will be focused on the use of the Monte Carlo simulation code SimProp for the propagation of UHECRs in the extragalactic space. The energy spectrum of UHECRs and cosmogenic neutrinos will be computed corresponding to variations of spectral parameters at the UHECR sources as well as to different choices for the UHECR mass composition.

2) Characterization of a cryogenic detector at mK temperature

Experimental framework: Bolometric detectors

Field: Dark Matter / Neutrino Physics

Location: CUPID R&D Room C (Underground Labs)

Activity description:  The activity is performed in the framework of the LNGS bolometric detector group. Students will be introduced to the basics of bolometric detectors and mK techniques. The students will calibrate a cryogenic detector at mK temperature, acquire the data, and analyze the obtained spectral shapes. Identification of the spectral components from natural radioactivity and calibration source will allow the characterization of the response and study of the S/N.

3) Scintillating crystal characterization at both room and cryogenic temperature

Experimental framework: COSINUS

Field: Dark Matter

Location: External Ground Labs

Activity description: The activity is performed in the framework of the COSINUS group. Students will be introduced to the basics of scintillating detectors. We will study the light yield of different detectors as a function of the temperature from room to O(k). The students will calibrate the detector, acquire the data, and analyze the obtained spectral shapes.

4) Design and optimization of thermal connectors and switchs at cryogenic temperatures 

Experimental framework: CUORE/CUPID

Field: Neutrino Physics

Location: Lab7 (External Ground Labs)

Activity description: The activity is performed in the framework of the CUPID DBD experiment. The upgrade of the CUORE mK cryostat to host the CUPID detector is one of the major improvements needed for the underground CUPID facility. Students will be introduced to the basics of cryogenic techniques and applications for astroparticle physics. The students will develop and design a test of the thermal properties of cryogenic thermalizers and thermal switches and test them at different temperatures. Students will operate a 10K Gifford-MacMahon cryostat, extract and analyze data and propose further improvements.

5) Test and calibration of the LIME prototype

Experimental framework: CYGNO

Field: Dark Matter

Location: LIME prototype lab (Underground Labs) 

Activity description: Students will contribute to the calibration and monitoring of detector stability and performances through the periodic calibration with 55Fe.

6) Optimization of MANGO detector for directional DM searches and X-ray polarimetry

Experimental framework: CYGNO

Field: Dark Matter

Location: MANGO installation hall (External Ground Labs)

Activity description: Students will contribute to R&D studies for the optimisation of amplification structures and development of innovative gas mixtures, possibily based on negative ion drift, to boost the advancement of TPC with optical readout for the search of rare events and x-ray polarimetry in space.

7) Characterization of photosensors

Experimental framework: DARWIN

Field: Dark Matter

Location: Installation hallo and Lab7 (External Ground Labs)

Activity description: Novel photosensors are being considered for applications in low background and astroparticle physics. Among these, the most interesting ones are the ABALONE, a hybrid vacuum photosensor, and the Silicon PhotoMultiplier (SiPM), a solid-state photosensor. Both of these are being considered as a substitute to the traditional, old but not yet obsolete technology of the PhotoMultiplier Tube (PMT). In this activity, a thorough characterization of the three technologies will be carried out in a dark box, in order to make a qualitative and in some cases quantitative comparison between them.

8) Gravitational measurements with GINGERINO 

Experimental framework: GINGER

Field: General Relativity

Location: GINGERINO hall (Underground Labs)

Activity description: The students will participate to the operation to control the alignment and purity of the gas mixture of the gyroscope GINGERINO, and will perform the measurement of the decay time of the optical cavity, and will use the data to evaluate the cavity losses. This is a 2 days operation, and the RLG experts of the GINGER group will be present.

9) Light yield and attenuation length measurements 

Experimental framework: HERD

Field: Space-based Detectors / Cosmic Rays

Location: Space Lab (External Ground Labs)

Activity description: The operation of cosmic ray detectors in space is in general constrained by a series of requirements posed by the mission itself (mostly in terms of data, power, and mass budget). In order to be able to disentangle the particle species in the data sample, such detectors must have the capability of measuring the atomic number of the incoming particle. This is in general achieved by measuring the energy released in a segmented scintillator tower. For the PSD (Plastic Scintillator Detector) of the HERD mission, the basic unit is a set of SiPMs coupled to plastic scintillator bars. In this session, the attenuation length of a specific scintillator configuration will be measured, along with the optimization of the light collection at the level of the photosensor.

10) Simulation for rare decays in LEGEND detectors

Experimental framework: LEGEND

Field: Neutrino Physics

Location: External Ground Labs

Activity description: The activity will be focused on the development of Monte Carlo simulation codes to estimate the efficiency of rare decays detection with LEGEND. Different decays will be considered (e.g. double electron capture of 36Ar, muon-induced backgrounds like 77Ge or 76Ga, etc...), that are important for rare physics event search or as background events for neutrinoless double beta decay.

11) Testing Ta2O5 targets and resonance strength determination at the LUNA-400 Accelerator

Experimental framework: LUNA

Field: Nuclear Astrophysics

Location: LUNA hall (Underground Labs)

Activity description: The first two days will be devoted to the familiarization with LUNA and Underground Nuclear Astrophysics in general and to the analysis of experimental background spectra collected with the setup in use.
The next two days will be dedicated to the measurement of the detection efficiency with calibration sources and reactions involving high-energy photons. The preparation of the target will follow the next day.
Once the target will be ready and the setup characterized, the students will have four days to perform a scan of the reaction yield as a function of the beam energy, a long run on-resonance and data analysis, including the re-evaluation of the resonance energy and of the resonance strength.
The last day will be devoted to the preparation of the report.

12) Investigation of internal and external background in neutron and gamma-ray detectors

Experimental framework: LUNA-SHADES/STELLA

Field: Nuclear Astrophysics

Location: STELLA Lab (Underground Labs)

Activity description: 2 days: Introduction into low count rate measurements, detector backgrounds. Sources and identification of backgrounds (intrinsic and extrinsic). Hands-on work to familiarize with analysis methods and tools. 3 days: Preparation and measurements with various shielded HPGe detectors and liquid scintillators, 3He detector 1 day: Data analysis 2 days: Preparation of underground setup, preliminary count rate, and spectra comparison 1 day: Report preparation

13) Reconstruction and analysis of nano-tracks of carbon ion recoils in nuclear emulsion with fully automated optical microscopes

Experimental framework: NEWSdm

Field: Dark Matter

Location: Microscope Lab (External Ground Labs)

Activity description: Reconstruction and analysis of nano-tracks of carbon ion recoils in nuclear emulsion with fully automated optical microscopes.

14) Timing measurements of photosensor signal

Experimental framework: NUSES

Field: Space-based detectors / Cosmic Rays

Location: Space Lab (External Ground Labs)

Activity description: The choice of the photosensor for the development of the detection concept of a space mission targeting the detection of particles in space is in general instrumental towards the success of the mission. Thanks to their compactness, operation at fairly low voltages, and insensitivity to magnetic fields, Silicon Photo-Multipliers (SiPMs) and Multi-Pixel Photon Counters (MPPCs) represent a possible breaking-through technology for the instrumentation of particle detectors operating in space. In order to design proper trigger patterns, the intrinsic timing properties of SiPMs and MPPCs have to be evaluated along with the signal features. In this session, a suitable setup for the measurement of the timing characteristics of a SiPM/MPPC will be presented, along with a possible signal emulation scheme in order to characterize the required parameters of the front-end electronics (pile-up mitigation, signal parameter extraction in low power regime, etc ...).

15) Exploring Radio Frequency Detection with the Ptolemy Experiment

Experimental framework: PTOLEMY

Field: Neutrino Physics

Location: External Ground Labs

Activity description: The future PTOLEMY transverse electromagnetic filter aims to measure the kinematical properties of electrons by measuring the Power and the frequency of the electron cyclotron radiation. This requires an electronic chain for the readout signal from the filter. The student will learn the basic properties of High-frequency signals and will test the electronic chain that will be used for the PTOLEMY antenna region early tests (electron trap). The electron trap is an early test for PTOLEMY electromagnetic filter and the first tests will starts at the beginning of the summer, the student will work on a C++/root code for data analysis of electron spectroscopy.

16) Development of cryogenic detectors for Supernova neutrino detection

Experimental framework: RES-NOVA

Field: Neutrino Physics

Location: Ieti facility (Underground Labs)

Activity description: The candidates will participate in the assembly of a prototype Supernova Neutrino detector based on a lead tungstate (PbWO4) bolometer to be tested in a cryogenic measurement at 10 mK. The collected data will be analyzed to characterize the performance (energy resolution, time resolution, light yield) and the radiopurity of the detector. Students will acquire basic skills in cryogenic detector assembly, operation, and data analysis. The proposed activity may include the development of a simple Monte Carlo for understanding and studying the radioactive background.

17) Characterization and operation of small cryogenic scintillation chambers with SiPM read-out

Experimental framework: SiPM laboratory

Field: Dark Matter

Location: SiPM laboratory (External Ground Labs)

Activity description: The candidates will be involved in the assembly and the operation of small cryogenic setups with noble gases (argon and/or xenon) with SiPM-based photo-detector modules. The students will improve their knowledge about all aspects of data read-out, digital signal processing and analysis. In particular the goal of the activity will be the modeling of SiPM response (gain, pulse shape and correlated noises) and characterization of the noble gas scintillation properties in single and/or double-phase time projection chambers in terms of light yield, resolution and pulse shape discrimination.

18) Statistical inference with a frequentist framework: Flamedisx 

Experimental framework: XENONnT

Field: Dark Matter

Location: External Ground Labs

Activity description: A complete likelihood analysis is the most appropriate frequentist approach to the interpretation of data in astroparticle physics experiments. A subgroup of the XENON collaboration is developing a full likelihood framework, dubbed Flamedisx. In this activity after familiarizing with the package, the students will test its power by fitting monoenergetic lines from simulated (and possibly experimental) calibration sources.